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The state of youth: inequality, insecurity and transitions to adulthood in the UK Conference

November 15, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

The School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol and the South West Doctoral Training Programme invites PhD students, and postdoctoral and academic researchers, to a free, one-day conference.

The state of youth: inequality, insecurity and transitions to adulthood in the UK

Verdon-Smith Room, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bristol



Recent years have witnessed increasing concerns about the situation and prospects of young people in the UK and across Europe in the face of accelerating social, economic and technological change. In particular, the Great Recession and subsequent austerity policies have focused attention on the pressing challenges facing young adults in making successful transitions to adult life across Europe.  Nevertheless, systematic, interdisciplinary research evidence on these impacts and their implications for policy and practice remains sparse.

We intend this to be the first of a series of one-day seminars that aims to bring together well-established scholars with newer researchers working at PhD and postdoctoral levels in the study of youth and adolescence in order to explore critical questions in contemporary youth studies on inequality and insecurity. The series takes a ‘long view’ of youth (defined as age 16 to 30 years) and a broad focus that considers both experiences of disadvantage and marginalisation as well as wider processes of social change and insecurity affecting young people across social divides, including disadvantaged youth, the ‘missing middle’, and more privileged young people and young adults. Key questions include:


  • Youth and social change. What is the contemporary social situation of youth? How have changed circumstances for youth affected labour market, domestic and housing transitions? How have the prospects for youth and young adults changed in the UK in recent decades?
  • Insecurity and marginalisation. How do experiences of exclusion and marginalisation influence young people’s choices, prospects and circumstances? How are these shaped by underpinning social inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity? What are the wider impacts of societal change for young adults’ experiences of insecurity and risk?
  • Policy and practice responses. What are the implications of these changes for social mobility and intergenerational justice? How should policy makers and practitioners respond to the problem of youth disadvantage? What are the barriers to successful youth transitions in the UK today and what the policies and interventions are needed to address these?

We welcome interdisciplinary contributions in the above and related areas. Each one-day seminar will promote exchange of ideas and mutual learning and will comprise expert talks, a (post)doctoral paper session, and a plenary session by the organisers.

If you would like to participate please complete the EventBrite booking form below. Attendance at this workshop is FREE.

Eventbrite: The state of youth


Call for doctoral papers!

Presenting is not a pre-requisite for participating in the event. We want to encourage ALL scholars with interests in youth studies to participate. However, spaces to present are limited and we will prioritise giving these places to research students wishing to present their work.

Doctoral students are warmly invited to present their work in the (post)doctoral paper session. To do so, please submit an abstract (of up to 500 words) in MS Word format to the event organiser, Dr Alba Lanau: alba.lanau@bristol.ac.uk, by 5pm, Wednesday 10th October.  In addition to your abstract, please provide your title, name, supervisor’ name(s), institution, and working thesis title.

Limited funds are available to help with travel costs for SWDTP students and PhD students travelling from outside Bristol who have no other source of financial support (e.g. research council funds etc). If you wish to be considered please indicate this in your email.


November 15, 2018
9:30 am - 5:00 pm


University of Bristol