Critical moments: choice, chance and opportunity in young people's narratives of transition

Thomson, Rachel; Bell, Robert; Holland, Janet; Henderson, Sheila; McGrellis, Sheena and Sharpe, Sue (2002). Critical moments: choice, chance and opportunity in young people's narratives of transition. Sociology, 36(2) pp. 335–354.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038502036002006

URL: http://soc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/2/3...

Abstract

The 'Inventing Adulthoods' study seeks to document transitions to adulthood reported by over 100 young people living in five contrasting communituies in the UK over a five year period. A principal aim of the study is to identify 'critical moments' in young people's biographies and to explore how these moments are implicated in processes of social inclusion and exclusion. This article reports on an analysis of the first of three rounds of one-to-one interviews. We begin by mapping young people's critical moments, exploring the relationship between the social and geographical location in which they live and the kinds of events that they report as having particualr biographical significance. We suggest that the character of these critical moments is socially structured, as are young people's responses to them. The argument is illustrated by case studies that show the interaction of choice, cahnce and opportunity in three young people's lives'

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