How Old is Young and How Young is Old?: The Restructuring of Age and the Life-course in Europe

Wallace, Claire (January 1997) How Old is Young and How Young is Old?: The Restructuring of Age and the Life-course in Europe. IHS Sociological Series 11

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Abstract: The argument of the paper is that modernisation tendencies helped to construct the category of "youth" which contemporary tendencies are once more de-structuring. Modern institutions such as education, work, the city, leisure industries served to structure age-status transitions so that the life course was divided according to distinct stages. The extension of social policies and state institutions defined youth in particular ways as targets for intervention. However, there were also variations between social classes, between gender, between ethnic groups and between countries. The former Communist countries of Eastern Europe defined age even more strongly than the welfare capitalist countries of Western Europe. However, recent tendencies have been towards the de-structuring of age-status transitions as leisure, family transitions and education are no longer associated so strongly with age - or at any rate not only with the young. Age starts to become a more elastic categoryas both young people and adults often resist age-typing. This has important implications for social policies and for citizenship in contemporary European societies.;

Item Type: IHS Series
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:36
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2017 17:15
URI: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/966

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