Misleading Trajectories: Transition Dilemmas of Young Adults in Europe
The theoretical concept of 'young adults' has been developed as a heuristic tool to examine the changing nature of transitions between youth and adulthood. It was developed jointly by a European network of youth researchers (EGRIS) concerned with both the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of changes in youth, transitions and life-courses. Several perspectives are suggested which aim to reveal the concept's heuristic potential: the de-standardized and fragmented or 'yo-yo' structure of trajectories; the differentiation between structural constraints of the labour market and exclusion influenced by social and education policies; and finally young adults' agency in coping with transitions. It is argued that a key feature of young adults' trajectories is the lack of effective policies that take into account the increasingly de-standardized nature of transitions.