Labour Trajectories of Young People: The Role of Social Networks

Sunday, 10 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Lidia YEPES, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
The objective is to analyze the relationship between trajectory of youngsters and social networks, in particular centred on social support as a strategy for job seekers to increase employability. Nowadays, in a moment especially difficult for young people, primarily affected by the economical and social crisis in Spain, the current research is focused on labour trajectories of young adults aged 20 to 34. Three elements have been identified which in interaction result in different patterns which we can analyse by establishing typologies. This can be linked with the increase of de-standardization and the importance of biographical elements to comprehend labour market pathways: the social background, the trajectory itself and, the personal network. Embedded in a life course perspective framework, the paper presents an exploratory analysis with the data collected by a mixed method surveys.

According with the research focus, labour trajectories are both conditioned by structural elements (such as the economy or institutions) and agency. One way to approach these limitations is by what we call 'accumulative advantatge or disadvantatge'. This approach argues that initial inequalities at the beginning of the trajectories tend to increase over time. The reason is the existence of a feedback process in which initial advantage’s situations generate exponentially greater resources which make greater the difference between those with worse starting points. Therefore, the paper maintains as hypothesis that we will also find differences in the use of social support as a mechanism to enter in the labour market according to the social background the youngster have. Consequently, we can set up a typological comparison: as better starting position, the greater possibility to take more advantage of social networks likewise extend and used them. In this sense, the network is deviced as a reflection of your own trajectory in which both dimensions keep an interdependence relationship.