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Exploring Complex Transitions: Looking Back at the 'Golden Age' of From School to Work

By John Goodwin and Henrietta O'Connor


This paper was published as Working Paper 42 by the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester. It is also available from A paper of the same title, which is available at, was subsequently published as a journal article in Sociology, 2005, 39 (2), pp.201-220.Using data from a little known project, 'Adjustment of Young Workers to Work Situations and Adult Roles', carried out in Leicester between 1962 and 1964, this paper aims to re-examine the extent to which transitions during this time were complex, lengthy, non-linear and single-step and explores the assumed linearity and uncomplicated nature of school to work transitions in the 1960s. It is argued that earlier research on youth transitions has tended to understate the level of complexity that characterised youth transitions in the early 1960s and 1970s. Instead, authors exploring transition during this period concentrated on 'macro' or more structural issues such as class and gender. It is suggested that transitions in the 1960s were characterised by individual level complexity that has largely been ignored by others exploring school to work transitions

Publisher: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:

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