Turning Points during Transitions to Adulthood – the Descendants of Immigrants in Germany

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nicolas LEGEWIE, German Institute for Economic Research, Germany
Ingrid TUCCI, LEST, CNRS, France
Transitions to adulthood are a major topic in research on life courses, education, labor markets, and migration. In our mixed methods study, we analyze the early life courses of descendants of immigrants through adolescence, young adulthood, and midlife. We use the German socio-economic panel (SOEP), a representative longitudinal study of about 30,000 respondents and complement this data with 30 in-depth biographical interviews we conducted with long-term SOEP respondents in 2015. This combination of data allows studying transitions to adulthood in detail and helps understanding what factors shape trajectories.

In our paper, we focus on turning points during the transition to adulthood. Turning points are sequences in a life course during which paths are redirected. Our focus lies on early adolescence and young adulthood, since turning points often occur during early adolescence and continue into young adulthood. We ask how do turning points unfold, and what role do they play in upward or downward social mobility? What experiences during childhood and adolescence influence how turning points unfold? What factors shape potential turning points during the transition to adulthood? In our analysis, we track influential factors such as institutional structures, family and kin relations, peer networks, and individual agency to understand how they shape turning points and thus influence educational and labor market trajectories.