Department of Sociology

From Job-seekers to Self-searchers

Kristoffer Vogt recently published an article in Sage Journals about changing contexts and understandings of School-to-work transitions.

From school to work

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Abstract from Sage Journals: This article sheds new light on a key topic in youth research over recent decades; how young people often rely on individualistic frames of interpretation in understanding their own lives. Based on biographical interviews with two cohorts of skilled men in Norway, the article demonstrates relations between historically specific institutional contexts and the ways in which people understand their school-to-work transitions. Whereas the older cohort accounted for their transitions as embedded processes, the younger cohort, who entered the same occupations three decades later, viewed their transitions as determined by self-searching in institutionalized choice situations. The wider implication of this is that the vocabulary fostered by contemporary transition contexts may invite researchers to overemphasize discrete moments ruptured from process, and thus obscure the dynamic relations between history and biography (Mills, 1959). A life course perspective, with its emphasis on transitions as contextualized processes, represents a viable theoretical alternative.

Read the article.