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Choosing to Labour? School-Work Transitions and Social Class

by Wolfgang Lehmann

Choosing to Labour? School-Work Transitions and Social Class Synopsis

Young people about to leave high school argue that they are determining their own destinies. Scholarly debates also suggest that the influence of structural factors such as social class on an individual's life course is decreasing. Wolfgang Lehmann challenges this view and offers a detailed comparative analysis of the inter-relationships between social class, institutional structures, and individual educational and career choices. Through a qualitative study of academic-track high school students and participants in youth apprenticeships in Germany and Canada, Lehmann shows how the range of available school-work transition options are defined by both gender and social class. Highlighting the importance of the institutional context in understanding school-work transitions, particularly in relation to Germany's celebrated apprenticeship system, which rests on highly streamed secondary schooling and a stratified labour market, Lehmann argues that social inequalities are maintained in part by the choices made by young people, rather than simply by structural forces. Choosing to Labour? concludes with an exploration of how public policy can meet the dual challenge of providing young people with meaningful and equitable educational experiences, while simultaneously fulfilling the need for a skilled workforce.

Choosing to Labour? School-Work Transitions and Social Class Press Reviews

Choosing to Labour? makes a major contribution to our understanding of how different groups of adolescents make the transition from school to adult life. It is the most stimulating and thought-provoking piece of sociological research that I've read in a long time. Julian Tanner, University of Toronto at Scarborough

Book Information

ISBN: 9780773533066
Publication date: 6th August 2007
Author: Wolfgang Lehmann
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 232 pages
Categories: Sociology: work & labour,

About Wolfgang Lehmann

Wolfgang Lehmann is assistant professor of sociology, University of Western Ontario.

More About Wolfgang Lehmann

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