Meet the Young European Mobile Employee: Context, Agency and Employment Mobility Patterns within the European Union

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Jan SKROBANEK, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway
Volha VYSOTSKAYA, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
The contribution offers a case specific mapping of youth mobility within the European context while focusing on two cases: Luxembourg and Norway.  It argues for a more systematic discussion of agency and structure, thus far overlooked in mobility research due to two major factors. On the one hand, mobility within the European Union and the fact that young persons are global and mobile is taken for granted.  On the other hand, there is a prevailing tendency towards research focusing on specific cases/countries while overlooking general patterns of employment mobility. This is especially true for youth employment mobility within the EU, which is accompanied by uncertainty and fragility related to the transitioning into adulthood. Taking Giddens structuration theory and Bourdieu’s field theory as a starting point, we approach the youth employment mobility from the perspective of an organisational field that is shaped by actors and structures like institutions, legal policies as well as specific rationalities and logics. This perspective is complemented by elements like young persons’ social relations, kin and non-kin social networks, institutional frames, working and life-style. While comparing similarities and differences of mobility patterns in Luxembourg and Norway the contribution explores institutional and individual components of the European youth employment mobility. The analysis is based on 30 in depth interviews, which focus on young peoples’ own experience towards the ways in which they are and can be active agents regarding geographical mobility.