Political Economy of Work and Employability. Educational Challenges, Boundaryless Careers and Youth

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:24
Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Mei-Ling LIN, Sociology of National Open University in Taiwan, Taiwan
The convergence of an aging society, lower birth rates, the knowledge economy, and professional labor mobility is introducing issues and opportunities for the higher education. Societies are approaching a norm of social politics organized around flexible labor markets and structural exclusion which alters the access to social inclusion through education and employment. There is an important interplay between education, social cohesion and local experiences of being young. The analysis of national education and employment policy is important in the context of a contemporary crisis of capital. The local communities, Taiwan accommodates global capital by opening up their markets and deregulating markets, takes active interest in the competition for the best brains, favours the way of life of mobile and well-educated people, and develops cosmopolitan outlook. The author addresses the rescaling processes affecting Taiwan in which youth are settling. The aim of this paper is to examine some key aspects of social change in Taiwan, which has undergone significant changes in its occupational structure, labor market, economy, and educational provision since the 1940s. The material of the paper draws on three levels. The first deals with the structural and institutional transformations, and some key aspects in its political economy, occupational structure, labor market, economy, and education. The second is concerned with occupational and social mobility patterns and trends, and their association with the changing role of education. Finally, this paper explores the microcosm of lived experiences of youth to gain an understanding of the social, political, and cultural factors that impinge on their occupational and social mobility outcomes and their relationship with education. This study uses elements from both the quantitative and the qualitative traditions in the study of education, youth and labor market.