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WORK ASPIRATIONS AND ATTITUDES IN AN ERA OF LABOUR MARKET RESTRUCTURING: A COMPARISON OF TWO CANADIAN YOUTH COHORTS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2000

Graham S. Lowe
Affiliation:
Work Network, Canadian Policy Research Networks Inc. Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada
Harvey Krahn
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada
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Abstract

This article tests the assumption that youth's work attitudes are changing to reflect the restructured labour markets that often are taken as a characteristic of late-modernity. Comparing 1985 and 1996 cohorts of high school leavers in a Canadian city, we find that occupational aspirations increased significantly since 1985, especially among females, in ways consistent with employment trends in a service-based economy. However, the 1985 and 1996 youth cohorts wanted very similar conditions in a job, and in each cohort we observed significant gender differences. General attitudes towards work and education also remained fairly constant. We discuss the implications of these findings for school-work transition research and for larger debates about youth responses to conditions of late-modernity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 BSA Publications Ltd

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WORK ASPIRATIONS AND ATTITUDES IN AN ERA OF LABOUR MARKET RESTRUCTURING: A COMPARISON OF TWO CANADIAN YOUTH COHORTS
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