Some commentators suggest that the individualisation of life stories reflects a discursive shift in the ways people talk about their lives rather than a substantive change in life patterns. However, elsewhere it is argued the individualisation of life experiences is one of the defining features of the contemporary era. This paper draws on biographical interviews carried out with 48 young adults (aged 20–35) living in Bristol and Gothenburg in 2000/3 to address these claims. The analysis explores whether transitions are framed as a consequence of personal choice and individuality or whether collectivities—specifically class and/or ethnicity—are acknowledged as structuring available opportunities and shaping choices. The material presented is situated within a broader study into young adult orientations to work and the changing nature of adulthood in post-industrial, European cities at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
|Translated title of the contribution||Class, ethnicity and individualisation: young adult narratives of transition in two European cities|
|Pages (from-to)||153 - 169|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Education and Work|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2006|