Youth in transition
We are an interdisciplinary research unit seeking a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by youth (millennials, digital natives) during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. We are based at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS, University of Navarra). Our team includes sociologists, demographers, statisticians, philosophers and experts in media and communication.
In the study of youth, we take the following approach:
1. Youth as a sequence of transitions
The path to adulthood involves a series of life-course transitions: from school the university, from education to the job market, from the parental home to independent living, from singlehood to partnerships, from childlessness to parenthood. Our work is driven by the idea that human flourishing in early adulthood can be studied using the following adapting/adopting paradigm:
Adapting to new scenarios: youth transitions entail a process of adjustment to new norms, expectations, and social contexts. Some of our work seeks to unveil the antecedents and correlates of successful adaptation to the circumstances arising from the process of becoming an adult.
Adopting new responsibilities: as youth approximates adulthood, new pressures and responsibilities arise –towards other people and towards society. Our work explores the social and personal factors that facilitate the adoption of a wide array of responsibilities: academic motivation and success, take up of leadership roles, commitment with charity work or volunteering initiatives.
2. Youth, technology and work
Technology is altering the way young people work and think about work. The generations now hitting the job market are challenging the age-old categories of earning a living, being successful, having an impact, or doing meaningful work. Alongside these deep changes behind the motivation to work, youth are forging a technological revolution that will reshape the world of work, driven by advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and bio/nano-technology. In this context, our team is exploring new theoretical and practical paradigms to update our understanding of work to the realities of the 21st century.
3. Friendship and other personal relationships
We are setting up an international observatory to assess and monitor the quality of interpersonal relationships among younger cohorts. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the ways in which youth combines elements from the new (social media, instant communications, constant feedback, etc.) with the old (face-to-face interaction and the need for permanent, stable, trustworthy relationships) to build friendships and sustain networks of peer support.