Young People's Strategies for Facing Uncertain Transitions to Adulthood: The Case of the Basque Country

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Izaskun ARTEGUI ALCAIDE , University of the Basque Country, Spain
The instability and precariousness surrounding the labor trajectories of young people cause the clash between the future expectations which they built in the past and their present reality. This clash, in this specific transition period from youth to adulthood, leads to a variant of what has recently been called the phenomenon of 'waithood'. Basque young people show that there are multiple strategies to manage this uncertainty surrounding the transition from youth to adulthood. These strategies depend upon two factors: the economic and the cultural one. The economic factor refers to the quantity and continuity of the economic resources that are available to these young people (irrespective of whether these recourses come from their salaries or from external sources such as their families). The cultural factor, in turn, alludes to the socialization patterns upon which these young people built their future expectations in the past, and which determine the way they manage the aforementioned clash between these future expectations and their present reality. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the four main strategies that result from combining these two axes: flow strategy, standby strategy, drift strategy and flexibility strategy. To accomplish this task, I will draw from the main findings of twenty-four in-depth interviews conducted between late 2012 and early 2013.