In moving the first significant steps into a meaningful graduate career, young adults need to elaborate strategies, which consist in identifying and activating what seems useful in one’s own context of reference. Specifically looking at the meaning of being young adults in two countries belonging to different welfare systems and thus diverging regimes of transitions to adulthood, i.e. Italy and England, this paper analyses how two groups of early career professionals conceive of and forge the specific position they occupy in the life cycle in the course of developing particular strategies of career construction. The findings of 60 in-depth interviews compare and contrast a first dimension of young adulthood accounted for as a favourable condition to delimit, emphasise and be collocated within in order to maximise its potential. This is the case of young adults based in England, who ‘squeeze’ their youth to enact career strategies. The second dimension is constructed as a penalising condition not to be associated with, in an effort to reduce the discomfort it causes. It is the case of young adults based in Italy, who work out their strategies while feeling caught in the blurred and indefinite condition of youth.

Squeezing or blurring? Young adulthood in the career strategies of professionals based in Italy and England

CUZZOCREA, VALENTINA
2011

Abstract

In moving the first significant steps into a meaningful graduate career, young adults need to elaborate strategies, which consist in identifying and activating what seems useful in one’s own context of reference. Specifically looking at the meaning of being young adults in two countries belonging to different welfare systems and thus diverging regimes of transitions to adulthood, i.e. Italy and England, this paper analyses how two groups of early career professionals conceive of and forge the specific position they occupy in the life cycle in the course of developing particular strategies of career construction. The findings of 60 in-depth interviews compare and contrast a first dimension of young adulthood accounted for as a favourable condition to delimit, emphasise and be collocated within in order to maximise its potential. This is the case of young adults based in England, who ‘squeeze’ their youth to enact career strategies. The second dimension is constructed as a penalising condition not to be associated with, in an effort to reduce the discomfort it causes. It is the case of young adults based in Italy, who work out their strategies while feeling caught in the blurred and indefinite condition of youth.
career; identity; young adulthood; Italy; UK
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/116820
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