Getting Jobs: The Status of Work in Poor Neighbourhoods

  • Robert MacDonald
  • Jane Marsh


Thus far we have described the cyclical, non-progressive and fluid school-to-work careers followed by young people in these poor neighbourhoods. We have hinted that we can make sense of these complicated twists and turns through post-sixteen college courses and government programmes only by reference to the significance of employment for this group. Whilst in sympathy with those that decry New Labour’s narrow fixation with regular employment as the route to becoming/being ‘socially included’ (e.g. Levitas, 1998), the imperative to work was highly resonant with these informants’ lived experiences and motives as they struggled to make headway in their post-school transitions. The value interviewees placed upon getting jobs — even where they fell short of what they hoped for — speeded their disengagement from further education, shaped their affective assessments of YT and NDYP and drove their day-to-day decision-making about the next steps to be taken. In this chapter, we attempt to understand interviewees’ relationship with employment, in terms of their subjective engagement with it and the structured opportunities that prevail for young people in this context.


Labour Market Young People Night Shift Poor Work Poor Neighbourhood 
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Copyright information

© Robert MacDonald and Jane Marsh 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert MacDonald
    • 1
  • Jane Marsh
  1. 1.University of TeessideUK

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