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ERIC Number: EJ870563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1363-9080
Opportunity Structures Then and Now
Roberts, Ken
Journal of Education and Work, v22 n5 p355-368 Nov 2009
This paper argues that we have a theory--namely, opportunity structure theory--which can account for how school-to-work transitions were accomplished "then" and "now", and also why "now" is different from "then". Opportunity structures are formed primarily by the inter-relationships between family backgrounds, education, labour market processes and employers' recruitment practices. The paper describes how each of these structuring agents has changed over time, while emphasising that their combined predictive power is undiminished. Individualisation, together with the requirement that young people make more choices and exhibit reflexivity, are shown to be features of the current structure of opportunities rather than evidence of a weakening of these structures. The paper concludes that "poverty of aspiration" and young people making the "wrong choices" cannot explain current imbalances in youth labour markets. Rather, it is argued that the root sources of the imbalances lie in the opportunities within which different groups of young people are required to be reflexive and to make successive choices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A