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In Transition … Where to? Rethinking Life Stages and Intergenerational Relations of Italian Youth

Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca, 20126 Milano, Italy
Department of Educational Sciences, University of Genoa, 16126 Genova, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2019, 9(1), 7;
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Studies: Values, Practices and Discourses on Generations)
PDF [286 KB, uploaded 29 January 2019]


This article wants to contribute to the ongoing debate within youth studies about the frameworks and concepts that inform research on the meanings of and transitions into adulthood. It aims to contribute to debates about the changing nature of life stages and the need for new conceptual categories and definitions of adulthood and of intergenerational relations. Thus, the first question that drives our reflections is: How do the radical transformations implied in the transition to adulthood pathway change the metaphors used to describe it, the ways of defining adulthood itself, and the scope for mutual recognition amongst different generations? Indeed, intergenerational relationships acquire more complexity in a framework in which a) structural factors like the precarisation of the labour market and the aging population heighten reciprocal interdependence and b) changes in the life-course patterns distance the different generations, especially in terms of biographical sense-making. These theoretical reflections arise from empirical work done in Northern Italy, with thirty-something people who are struggling with a prolonged and de-standardised transition process, negotiating “new adult roles”, particularly in the field of parenthood). This complex transition is significant and widespread in Italian context that, as part of the group of Southern welfare states, has low levels of welfare provision and high reliance on the family as a form of support. View Full-Text
Keywords: transition to adulthood; adulthood; generations; Italy transition to adulthood; adulthood; generations; Italy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Magaraggia, S.; Benasso, S. In Transition … Where to? Rethinking Life Stages and Intergenerational Relations of Italian Youth. Societies 2019, 9, 7.

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