Fashioning Flexibility: Dissolving Boundaries between Employment, Education and the Family among A-level Students Engaged in Full-time Schooling and Part-time Jobs

  • Pat Allatt
  • Carolyn Dixon


This chapter centres on the refashioning of young people’s transitions to adulthood and an associated reshaping of social identity in today’s world of rapid social change. In setting out the evidence, we draw upon Urry’s (1999) concept of ‘an increasingly borderless world’, transposing this theme to the micro-world of a particular segment of young people — A-level students living in a marginal locale in the north-east of England. Within this small universe, we adjust the lens to focus on these sixth-formers’ work, concentrating on three of the several intersecting social sites which young people in full-time schooling inhabit — education, the family and, increasingly, part-time employment (Hodgson and Spours, 2000; Mizen et al., 1999, 2001). For those in post-16 full-time education, a changing educational landscape and a pervasive work culture (Forrester, 1999) are redrawing and opening up the boundaries between these spheres of social life, and these forces in turn are driven by economic and technological change and the alleged need for flexibility in both labour markets and human capital.


Labour Market Young People Emotional Labour Personal Time College Choice 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Allatt
  • Carolyn Dixon

There are no affiliations available

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