The use of the concept of ‘tra

The use of the concept of ‘transition’ has been questioned
in minority world contexts, and Gillies (2000) argues that there are three main
drawbacks of using the term. First, it does not allow for greater recognition
of the blurred boundaries between dependence and independence. Second, it tends
to imply an individualistic transition, while placing less emphasis on family
interrelationships. Third, youth becomes conceptualized merely as a
transitional period of change and instability rather than being a special
category in its own right. Despite these drawbacks, it is recognized that the
concept of ‘transition’ can still provide a useful framework for exploring the
ways in which young people are constrained and their decision-making processes
in relation to their chosen school-to-work pathways (Gillies 2000). Apart from
the school-to-work trajectories, youth transitions also include leaving home,
starting a sexual relationship, having children and acquiring citizenship
rights (EGRIS 2001). It is widely recognized that these transitions are
interlinked and that it is important to take a holistic perspective in order to
understand the interconnections between them (Wyn and Dwyer 1999). Therefore,
this case study has shown that, like childhood, ‘youth’ is ‘a relational
concept, which refers to the social processes whereby age is socially
constructed, institutionalized and controlled in historically and culturally
specific ways’ (Wyn and White 1997: 10–11).

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