Structure and Agency in Young People’s Lives
Theory, Methods and Agendas
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 28, 2021
Structure and Agency in Young People’s Lives brings together different takes on the possible combinations of agency and structure in the life course, thus rejecting the notion that young individuals are the single masters of their lives, but also the view that their social destinies are completely out of their hands.
‘How did I get here?’ This is a question young people have always asked themselves and is often asked by youth researchers. There is no easy and single answer. The lives that are told, on one hand, and their interpretation, on the other, may have the underlying idea of "own doing" or the idea of "social determinism" or, more accurately and frequently, a combination of the two.
This collection constitutes a comprehensive map on how to make sense of youth’s biographies and trajectories, it questions and reshapes the discussion on the role and responsibility of youth studies in the understanding of how people juggle opportunities and constraints, and contributes to escape the epistemological fallacy of late modernity, in which young people find themselves responsible for collective failures or inevitabilities. It can thus interest students, researchers and professors, youth workers and all of those who work for and with young people.
Table of Contents
History, Biography, Endurance and Empathy: An Introductory (Thank You) Note to the Book
Magda Nico and Ana Caetano
Part I – Beyond the Agency-structure Divide
1. Challenging the Structure/Agency Binary: Youthful Culture, Labour and Embodiments
Steve Threadgold, David Farrugia and Julia Coffey
2. Subjective Understandings of Young People’s Agency: Concepts, Methods and Lay Frames of Reference
3. The Interplay of Structure and Agency in the School-to-work Transition
4. The Go-between. Young-ish Trajectories Through a Life Course Agency-structure Lens
5. Redefining the Link Between Structure and Agency: The Place of Time
Part II – Agency and Structure in Historical and Generational Context
6. Structure and Agency: An Old Couple in a New Era of Prolonged Education-to-work Transitions amid Rising Inequalities and Declining Life Chances
7. Making a Living in a Provincial Hometown: Locality as a Structuring Landscape for Agency
8. Exploring the Connection Between Structure and Agency Within the Context of the Young
Greek Crisis Generation
9. Fighting Adversity with Different Weapons: Youth, Structure and Agency in Portugal During the Crisis
Nuno De Almeida Alves
10. Certainties and Control in the Lives of Young Men: Stories from Three Research Projects
John Goodwin, Henrietta O'connor and Laurie Parsons
11. Structure and Agency in Life Stories: How to Become a Gang Member
Part III – Structured Agency, Reflexivity and Action
12. Reflexivity in Late Modernity: Understanding Young Lives in the Context of Social Change
Daniel Woodman and Amy Vanderharst
13. What are the Chances? Coping with Contingent Events in Youth
14. Youth Pathways as Process: How Factor Configuration, Time Dynamics and Reflexivity Combine Together
María Eugenia Longo
15. There’s Always Tomorrow: Strengthening Agency and Challenging Structure Through Youth Work and Youth Policy
Ana Caetano is a Researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-Iscte) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Research Methods at Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon. She has been studying for several years the relationship between structure and agency, namely through the analysis of personal reflexivity, the experience of biographical crises and the use of triangulation in biographical research.
Magda Nico is a Sociologist. She is a Researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-Iscte) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Research Methods at Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon. She is interested in life course theory and methods, and in the social mobility and trajectories of (young) people.