The social context
o The process of becoming adult has become more prolonged, largely due to the extension of higher
o today’s youth acquire the traditional role markers of adulthood, uncluding finishing school, leaving
their parental home, obtaining a full time job, marrying and becoming a parent, in a more variable
and individualized sequence.
o today’s youth and their parents understand that good high paying jobs necessitate education
beyond high school, and most adolescents aspire to obtain 4 years college degress (they mean uni,
this is what he said in lecture).
o a long standing tradition of research in the united states, the ‘status attainment’ schoo, documents
that educational attainment is the primary mediator of the link between socioeconomic orgins and
occupational destinations. EX: youth whose parents have higher occupational prestige education,
and income encourage their children to obtain more education; their children in turn have higher
educatuinal aspirations, which promote higher educational and occupational attainments.
Trends in the experience of employment through the school to work transition.
o Heinz documented recent cohts of young ppl entering the labor force encounter opportunity and
constraints that reflect the effects of globalization, technological innovation and rapid occupational
o as a result of rapidly shifting technologies and occupational structures, workers can no longer expect
to choose a single line of work. and follow a recognizable ‘career path’ within the same field during a
lifetime of employment. more likely to experience multiple job and occupational wages with
need for ‘re –tooling’, additional certification, degrees, or continuing education, so as to remain
viable in highly competitibe employment markets.
o employers have responded to heightened competition by reducing personnel costs thru downsizing
and overseas outsourcing and lessening their commitments to employees thru non standard
employment contracts. (part time).
o in this rapidly changing occupational and technological environment, youths’ transition from survival
jobs to more stable full time career jobs becomes ever more challenging.
o success will come for those who have acess to and can mobilize diverse resources- intellectural,
psychological and all the various elements of capital, including social and cultural capital as well as
human capital- to obtain their occupational objectives.
o American high school students typically give little serious thought to their future occupations.
though most are able to respond when asked directly about occupational choices.
o American young ppl are ambitious but directionless; having lil sense of what is needed in the way of
educational experiences or credentials that are needed for entry into particular lines of work.
o unlike other post industrial moden societies, in NA there are few institutional bridges that effectlive
link education and work. unlike the apprenticeship system of Germany, Denmark, and Austria and
the connections between high schools and employers in Japan. American youth have to rely on their
own social contacts and experiences to help them to orient themselves to labor marker. The
qualifications that most students receive (high school diploma and BA degress) are generally
credentials, in other modern societies they are more likely to be occupationally- specific. o the absence of educational supports and school-to-work bridges contributes to long periods of
‘floundering’—moving between jobs that are often lil diff from jobs held during high school, before
settling into full time work with career potential.
o How do young ppl prepare themselves for ‘career like’ work in this increasingly challenging context?
through their part time work experiences while still in school. where as finishing
school and beginning full time work in fairly rapid succession once characterized
the transition from school to worl.
o employment during high school has become a near-universal experience in the US and it persists as
young ppl leave high school and enter colleges.
o because their work during this long transitional phase needs to accommodate their responsibilities
as students, their jobs are often characterized as survival or stop gap jobs—part time, transient,
having low pay, without benefits, and predominantly in the servce sector, rather than career jobs-
full time, higher paying including health and retirement benefits and diversified with respect to
industry and occupational type.
o 2 emegnet tracks in the transition from school to work in adolescence and young adulthood.
students who feel less confident about succeeding in the educational system.
invest heavily in work duing high school years. working long hours. more then
20 hours/week, and most months (22 out of 24 months) move more quickly
after leaving high school than other students into career like work—jobs they
identify as careers. unlikely to obtrain 4 years college degrees.
students who have greater education promise upon entry to high school- are
also employed during high school. but they limit their hours of work so as to
effectively accommodate their academic pursits, extra curricular activities, and
time with friends and family. The steady, high duratio