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Chapter 8 Textbook Notes

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Sociology 2169

Chapter Eight – Younger and Older Workers  Positive stereotypes o Younger workers: strong and eager o Older workers: wise and experienced  Negative stereotypes o Younger workers: irresponsible o Older workers: resistant to change The Life Course  Life course perspective: consider people’s experiences across time and across the course of their lives  pathways our lives take o Stereotypical model life course as it pertains to work and family  A person is born, raised within a family, and goes to school; takes on part-time employment in adolescence’ finishes school, gets a full-time job, marries and forms a new family; pursues a career and raises the family; between ages 60 and 65 stops working and being involved in raising a family and retires  Core premises: experiences at one point in the life course shape its route and one’s later experiences o Another premises: importance of social context and the interaction among context, historical era, and live course trajectories  Difference in birth year expose individuals to different historical worlds  Societal norms surround the timing of life course events o People who stray from expected patterns may face criticism and disdain or social difficulty  Ex. having children before you embark on careers and those who extend their schooling and prolong their entrance into the labour force  Expectations of the life course are conditions by social context, race, ethnicity, class, and gender o Women and men expected to follow different paths with respect to work and family  Middle-class women are expected to delay marriage until their postsecondary education is complete o Age and social context intersect with gender, race, and class to shape social experience Youth and the School-to-Work Transition  School-to-work transition will be a more prolonged process for today’s youth  Expected: people would enter workforce after completing at least some high school or obtaining a university undergraduate degree  not it is not as easy as it used to be Young Workers  Young workers: between the ages of 15 and 24 (range where people finish school and enter the workforce)  20 century – the amount of education obtained by Canadians had increased  1970s: highly qualified were overwhelming the job market  1980s: further limited job opportunities for new graduates  1990s: technological change, private- and public-sector downsizing, flights of jobs to other regions, and the expansion of labour in the service sector created a market in flux  Unemployment rates for youth rose, and wages dropped Changes in the Youth Market  Changes in the economy and labour markets have affect young workers  11.5% youth unemployment rate in 2006  In France, youth unemployment started social unrest  Labour forces trends affecting people worldwide have a disproportionate effect on the young  Youth who have secured employment face difficulties with wages o Dramatic drop in young men’s earnings between late 1970s and early 1980s o Earnings of young women have been stable and show modest increase over time  Youth are more heavily concentrated in part-time employment o ¼ want to work full-time o Recent statistics state a rise in full-time employment among youth, and a decline in part-time employment  Labour force participation rates include both those who have jobs and those who are looking for jobs o Figure 8.1 – drop of young workers in labour force due to shrinking number of young people in the population and the participation of young women and men has been converging over time  Trends in employment, unemployment and wages in 1980s and 1990s is a result of youth obtaining more education o Young people want to stay in school longer o A university degree is the best insurance against unemployment, part-time employment, low wages, and other labour market insecurities – Graham Lowe Prolonged School-to-Work Transition  School-to-work transition is a longer process for youth today o Easier for people to get a job after high school or university  Today: school-to-work transition is interrupted and complex, encourages delayed independence for youth, extended periods of schooling, and labour market exclusion for other Delayed Independence  Extended periods of schooling and labour market difficulty result in delayed adulthood o Everything is pushing back: age to get married, have kids, etc..  Ravanera and colleagues: today’s young men stay five years longer in school and start work three years later  More likely youth to marry later or live with a partner with a partner without getting married, and have children later in life  More dependent on parents – takes youth longer to leave home and have a likelihood that they will return at a later point Polarization of Youth Employments  Many Canadians obtaining postsecondary education, not only at undergraduate level but also at graduate level  School-to-work transition is not only longer but less restricted – can make transition back to school if they are unhappy  University graduates have good labour market opportunities  Finnie: o 1992: 95% of male postsecondary graduates and 82% of female graduates were employed full time with 3% of men and 13% of women employed part-time o Rates of involuntary part-time employment and temporary employment declined over time o Earnings of graduates is generally high o Most make the school-to-work transition successfully even though it may take individuals many years to become established in the labour market  Those with no postsecondary education have a harder time to find jobs o Lowe and Krahn: high-school graduates found themselves in jobs that were not very secure or well-paying o Those who leave school earlier have an even harder time  De Broucker:  Did not finish high school: o 22% less likely to have a job than those who had completed high school o 28% less likely than those who had a postsecondary diploma or degree  If they find work they end up in dead-end or temporary jobs  Linda McDowell: a generation or two ago, young men who left school early might find employment in manufacturing (little skill, and could earn good pay and job security) o Now these jobs have disappeared, and replaced by casual and insecure jobs in the service sector (waitress, bartender) o Do not appeal to working-class men and can’t grant them the security and income they need to support themselves and their families o Young unskilled men have few opportunities cause they are rejected from employment in the service sector o Young women have more opportunities for low-skilled service sector work o Service sector working class perceived as poorly educated youth as less than ideal workers  Aboriginal youth – 77% living on reserves and 55% living off reserves – lack a high school diploma o Leave school in grades 9 and 10  Brunnen found education attainment strongly shaped labour market outcomes o Aboriginals have a lower rates of labour force participation and have higher rates of unemployment  Those with postsecondary education have good prospects for employment and those without a high-school diploma have a harder time  Opportunities are polarizing  Social inequality: highest rates of postsecondary graduation and lowest rates of high-school completion among developed nations Factors Shaping School-to-Work-Transitions  More education  easier to find a job o University education have easier time than college graduates in finding good employment that uses their skills  Mothers occupation and education play a role in school-to-work transition o Having a working mother is linked to obtaining more education therefore starting work and leaving home later o They bring resources to youth and ease transition into adulthood o Better premeditator than father’s occupation  Crys
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