In an age when the next generation have worse prospects than those of their parents, this book appraises the challenges young people face resulting from the instability of their lives.
Based on youth experience of education, employment and political participation in England and Germany, the book examines the impact of digitalisation in the context of rising inequality, accelerating technological transformation, fragile European institutions, growing nationalism and mental and economic stress arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The insights gained point to young peoples’ agency as central to acquiring the skills and resources needed to shape their future in the digital society.
“In our world of accelerating change, pathways to a promising future have become increasingly more complex and elusive for contemporary generations of youth. This is a must-read for all who wish to enhance their agency in a successful transition.” Glen Elder, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Exquisitely written, a timely and imperative treatise on the most pressing issues of our times for young people’s journey to adulthood." Marlis Buchmann, University of Zurich
“A thorough and critical analysis of identity problems of young people in the digital age, written by two renowned masters of sociological theory.” Klaus Hurrelmann, Hertie-School of Governance, Berlin
John Bynner is Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences in Education in the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the University College London Institute of Education.
Walter R. Heinz is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Psychology, and Senior Faculty member of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences at the University of Bremen.
Introduction: Pathways to adulthood
Social structure and inequality
Identity and social media
Youth and Europe
Navigating the transition to adulthood
Education, capability and skills
Smart families and community
Political participation, mobilisation and the internet
Impact of COVID-19 on youth
Conclusions: Youth policy challenges