Publishing with a purpose

Unfolding lives

Youth, gender and change

By Rachel Thomson

Published

1 Sep 2011

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1847429025

Dimensions

240 x 172 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
£27.99 £22.39You save £5.60 (20%) Add to basket

Published

22 Jul 2009

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1847420510

Dimensions

240 x 172 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
£75.00 £60.00You save £15.00 (20%) Add to basket

Published

1 Sep 2011

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1447306047

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
£27.99 £22.39You save £5.60 (20%) Add to basket

Published

1 Sep 2011

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1447306054

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
£27.99 £22.39You save £5.60 (20%)Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Unfolding lives

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The process of becoming an adult in contemporary times is fragmented and unequal, shaped by chance, choice and timing. "Unfolding lives" presents a unique approach to understanding the changing face of youth transitions, addressing the question of how gender identities are constituted in late modern culture.

The book follows individual lives over time, enabling the reader to witness gender identities in the making and breathing new life into static analytic models. At the heart of the book are vivid in-depth accounts of four young lives, emblematic of broader biographical trends. They reveal how inequalities and privileges are made in new and unexpected ways, through practices such as falling in love, coming out, acting out and religious conversion. A focus on temporal processes and changing meanings captures what it feels like to be young and shows the creative ways that young people navigate the conflicting and changing demands of personal relationships, schooling, work and play. "Unfolding lives" is also a demonstration of a method-in-practice, describing how longitudinal material can be analysed and animated to realise the relationship between personal and social change.

Written in an accessible style that breaks the conventional academic mould, "Unfolding lives" is a compelling and provocative read. The book will be an essential text for students and academics involved in youth and gender studies as well as those interested in new directions in qualitative research methods and writing.

"The richness of the individual cases, drawn from the larger study, is uniquely illuminating. This book will, hopefully, be read across the social sciences and by those interested in, or grappling with, innovative methodologies." Children & Society

"This book is a real page-turner. An original, imaginative and carefully crafted account of young lives in process, 'Unfolding Lives' takes the reader on an inspirational sociological journey of breath-taking depth and variety." Mary Jane Kehily, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, The Open University

Rachel Thomson is Professor of Social Research in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at The Open University. She has written widely in the fields of youth studies, sexuality and qualitative methods. Recent publications include "Inventing adulthood: a biographical approach to youth transitions" (with Henderson et al; Sage, 2007) and "Researching social change: qualitative approaches" (with McLeod; Sage, 2009).

The breadth and depth of youth transitions; A method in practice; Gender and social change; Going up: discipline and opportunism; Going down: between stasis and mobility; Coming out: from the closet to stepping stones; Acting out: rebellion with a cause; Interruption: from explanation to understanding; Conversation: reading between the lines; Youth, gender and change.

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