This paper focuses on some of the conceptual implications changes in youth transitions over the last 40 years. I argue that changes have often been exaggerated with researchers too enthusiastic to jump on theoretical bandwagons without due regard for empirical evidence. While I suggest that there are important changes that impact on the ways in which social classes are reproduced, involving a perception of increased opportunity and greater scope for individual agency, a degree of class-based convergence and illusions regarding the disappearance of class, I will argue that the new mechanisms lead to the re-establishment of very familiar patterns of socio-economic inequality which can largely be understood by employing established theoretical ideas. While biographical approaches are regarded as useful, the continued use of social class is defended
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