Youth and social vulnerability : becoming adults in contemporary Argentina
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This dissertation explores the new patterns of youth transition to adulthood in contemporary Argentina. During the last decade the country has experienced a deep transformation of its socio-economic foundations that make relevant the analysis of the characteristics, risk and social consequences of the process of becoming adult under this new scenario. In a context characterized by an increasing deterioration of the labor market, the constitution of new social identities, and the crisis of traditional mechanisms of socialization and upward social mobility, I identify and analyze patterns of school-to-work, family and residential transitions associated with different resources, opportunities, and constraints. The family, the neighborhood, and the labor market receive special attention. ix The research is based on a quantitative analysis of the Argentinean Continuing Household Survey for Greater Buenos Aires since 1990 until 2000, and a qualitative analysis of 60 in-depth interviews to young people conducted during 2000 in two different neighborhoods of Greater Buenos Aires. The main findings of this research show an increasing vulnerability of the young people in terms of their future opportunities of social integration. It is also observed a process of cumulative disadvantages among specific segments of the young population, with a potential risk of becoming socially excluded from the mainstream society. These finding suggest that Argentina is currently experiencing a significant transformation of its traditional social structure, whose patterns are not clearly defined yet.