The research focus “Transitions in youth” examines the conditions of transition processes which adolescents and young adults go through and how they cope with these. It is mainly concerned with demands in the context of educational settings, providing fundamental scientific insights which can be drawn on in making youth policy decisions as well as informing practical interventions. Here the improvement of the social and vocational integration of disadvantaged young people is seen as a cross-functional task of youth policy, involving issues of youth social work per se as well as age-specific education, training and labour market policy.

In recent decades a structural shift has occurred that involving the breakdown of standardized processes and restrictions. For young people this has generated greater freedoms and opportunities as well as creating fresh risks and demands. In order to ensure young people are able to make the most of opportunities to shape their lives in the process of social and vocational integration, they require the skills to be able to take decisions and tolerate uncertainty as well as the capacity for productive risk-taking. Not all young people are equally well prepared for this since they have differing resources and potential for coping with the various demands. This applies particularly to primary resources (family, siblings, friends, neighbourhood milieu, peers), an area that requires closer attention.

In order to develop their capacity and potential to cope with risks, young people also require secondary resources, i.e. political and institutional stakeholders – including schools, institutions and youth social work organizations, associations, employment agencies, local authorities, job centres, companies – all of whom make an important contribution to structuring the biographies of young people: for example the education programmes at schools, the vocational training system as a transition from school to working life and the role of youth social work in supporting this transition. A characteristic feature of studies within the research focus “Transitions in youth” is a process-oriented, multi-dimensional approach which looks both at the structures and framework conditions of social, cultural and economic integration as well as adopting the individual perspective of both the protagonists responsible and the recipients over time.

This is achieved by carrying out a series of longitudinal studies on transitions from school to vocational training and employment, education-related regional studies and European cooperation projects focusing on the social and vocational integration of young people.

Head of Department

+49 345 68178-33
Deutsches Jugendinstitut Außenstelle Halle
Franckeplatz 1
Haus 12/13 06110 Halle
Deputy Head of Department
Dr. Christine Steiner
+49 89 62306-227

Department Profile

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