A socio-ecological model of agency: The role of psycho-social and socioeconomic resources in shaping education and employment transitions in England

Ingrid Schoon, Mark Lyons-Amos
2017 Longitudinal and life course studies  
This study examines the role of structural and agentic resources in shaping school-to-work transitions in England. We ask to what extent are young people able to steer the course of their lives despite the constraining forces of social structure, and how satisfied are they with their lives following the completion of compulsory schooling. Drawing on data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England we use sequence analysis of monthly activity data to identify differences in the timing
more » ... ences in the timing and sequencing of education and employment transitions. We identified six distinct pathways, differentiating between an academic track, three pathways involving further education and training, as well as a work-focused transition and a group of young people who were over a long period not in education or training (NEET). The findings suggest that not all young people are inclined to follow an academic track and instead select into pathways involving vocational training or further education, enabling them to experience competence and life satisfaction. For others (about one in 10), however, the lack of socioeconomic and psycho-social resources is too overwhelming and they encounter long-term experience of NEET or are not able to transform their educational credentials into employment opportunities. The findings highlight that in addition to considering structural constraints it is important to conceptualise the role of the agent for a better understanding of variations in youth transitions . Schoon, Lyons-Amos A socio-ecological model of agency: The role of structure and agency in shaping education and employment transitions in England A socio-ecological model of agency Life course theory provides a comprehensive framework to integrate assumptions about social structure and individual agency. In life course theory it is argued that all life choices are contingent on the opportunities and constraints of social structure and culture (Elder & Shananhan, 2007). Moreover, life course theory considers the constraints on human Schoon, Lyons-Amos A socio-ecological model of agency: The role of structure and agency in shaping education and employment transitions in England
doi:10.14301/llcs.v8i1.404 fatcat:3kqkh6mwhnhnjioowbubcvxho4