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Forever young?: Young people's conception of adulthood - the Swedish case
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, Vol. 7, no 1, 35-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses the issue of young people's subjective conception of attainment of adulthood. Setting a process, as well as a multidimensional perspective, the analysis enables the study of both role transitions and issues of individual maturity in attainment of adulthood. Usually, after completing specific role transitions, young people are regarded as adult members of society. Due to social changes it is of interest to study whether young people themselves also put the same emphasis on these role transitions in attainment of adulthood. Drawing on data from the Swedish Board of Youth Affairs containing 3200 respondents aged 16-29, the results indicate that young people who have completed role transitions assign them less value for the importance of adult status. However, becoming a parent is a role transition that is given great importance and is also in relation to the issue of responsibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group , 2004. Vol. 7, no 1, 35-53 p.
Keyword [en]
Social class, social work, youth culture
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4549DOI: 10.1080/1367626042000209949OAI: diva2:143694
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2009-10-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Becoming an Adult: Living Conditions and Attitudes among Swedish Youth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming an Adult: Living Conditions and Attitudes among Swedish Youth
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies youth from different perspectives. These are the life phaseand the generational perspectives, which have been studied via questions of establishment and individualisation. The main question is whether young people are different because they have not made socially important transitions into adulthood or if they are different because they have grown up under different circumstances than earlier generations. The consequences of the outcome are important because they can indicate what kind of society young people will reproduce. The following conclusions are drawn: First, there are clear effects of social structurations (class of origin and gender) in the lives of young people. They affect the distribution of attitudes towards welfare state expenditures as well as the economic effects in a long-term perspective. Second, there is rather weak importance of role transitions in relation to what young people believe is important for adulthood, role transitions’ importance for the distribution of attitudes towards the welfare state as well as role transitions’ importance in a long-term perspective. Third, increasing age and subtle socialisation processes may be an explanation to the rather weak meaning of role transitions, cause adjustments to surrounding contexts and people’s expectations. It is concluded that the life phase perspective is a more accurate way of viewing young people, mainly because of the impact of social structurations, which are believed to contribute to continuous reproduction rather than complete change of society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Sociologi, 2005. 140 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 37
Sociology, youth, transitions, individualisation, life phase, life-course, welfare state, attitudes, social structuration, Sociologi
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-522 (URN)91-7305-814-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-05-20, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 13:15
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2011-03-10Bibliographically approved

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