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Session Overview
SY-I-28: Moving to Nowhere Land? (Un)Certainties in career and training pathways of the young generation
Monday, 19/Mar/2018:
12:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Dr. Christian Schroeder, Universität Luxemburg
Location: S06 S00 B41
80 Plätze
Session Topics:
qualitative, Social Pedagogy/Education and Social Work, Organisational Pedagogy, European Movements and Education

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Moving to Nowhere Land? (Un)Certainties in career and training pathways of the young generation

Chair(s): Dr. Christian Schröder (Universität Luxemburg)

Discussant(s): Prof. Susanne Weber (Universität Marburg)

The symposium takes as it starting point the observation that today so-called 'patchwork biographies' are becoming more and more common. In short, there is an increase in transitions not only between workplaces but also between the status of being employed and being unemployed.

Based on empirical studies, the symposium aims at reflecting new (un)certainties in career and training pathways in the perspective of young (mobile) people living in the EU as well as in policy discourse and organizations that promise to help regulating modern life courses, such as career guidance services.

As being employed (or at least being employable) is seen as a key indicator for integration and social inclusion, the questions arise: How do individuals perceive the situation between growing opportunities for choice available to individuals and the loosing of bonds that link individuals to society. How is the relationship between individual, policy and organization (re-)defined against this backdrop?


Presentations of the Symposium


Guiding them back to the labour market – the case of early school leavers in Luxembourg

Dr. Christian Schröder
Universität Luxemburg

The Luxemburgish welfare system is considered to be a typical conservative-corporatist system with Scandinavian standards. Although the rate of early school leaver in Luxemburg is below the EU average (11.0 % of young people), there has been an increase up 2.2 percentage points (9.3 %) from 2010 until 2015 (Eurostat). This is based on the definition by the European Union that defines early school leavers as people aged 18-24 who have only lower secondary education or less and are no longer in education or training.

The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth has taken measures to develop a comprehensive plan based on three axes: promotion of educational success, strengthening of vocational guidance and reintegration programmes. One part is contacting young people directly in order to determine their current activities/status in terms of education, employment or training. This task is linked to an out-reaching vocational guidance aiming to win them (back) for the labour market.

Based on data from of a collaborative project we will elaborate the rationalities of career guidance services in the context of Luxemburg. For this purpose we will develop our argument based on conversational analysis of recorded counselling sessions. However, the point made will be enriched by the results of participant observation in field of transition from school to working life and with biographical analysis with early school leavers.


Voices to the younger generation or false hopes? – a claim for political responsibility and societal development

Shahinaz Khalil
Universität Marburg

How can a program to policy transformative evaluation approach give impulses for political responsibility and societal development? Will the voices of the younger generation be heard and taken up into the political agenda?

Based on a discourse analytical perspective, the presentation takes its starting point from the moves, the “traveling” knowledge (Czarniawska und Sevón 2005) of Career Guidance takes while shifting from a European into the Middle East context of Egypt. Here, international donors are the drivers of a Career Guidance Discourse, which is new to the Egyptian society.

In a multi-stakeholder based assessment, adopting a transformative evaluation approach, and a complex multiperspectivity research design the study presented focuses on program outcomes of a career guidance program implemented by the GIZ. What are outcomes and impacts of the program? Can a career guidance program link into policy transformation and support bringing about educational and societal transformation?

As empirical data of this multimethod and participatory evaluation (Weber, 2009, 2012, 2014) show, the evaluated career guidance program has strong effects on self-concepts of students and teachers.Career guidance knowledge does not primarily bring about an economical subjectivation (as analysed within the EU context), but carries collective and societal potentials for democratizing educational, societal and organizational relationships.


Youth Mobility – experiencing (un)certainties

Emilia Kmiotek-Meier, Dr. Volha Vysotskaya
Universität Luxemburg

Mobility has become a resource, rewarded by the labour market, and thus, strongly supported by the EU. Young people, from pupils to employees, are confronted with the ”mobility imperative”, which equals a mobile person with a successful person. But being mobile means also being flexible. While flexibility has been discussed in the work context together with security (keyword: flexicurity), in the mobility context security has been paid little attention so far. In our contribution, we will discuss different forms of (in)security in the course of young people’s mobility. The analysis is based on interviews with 30 mobile students from and employees in Luxembourg. For the analysis, grounded theory methodology was used. We localized two main processes linked with mobility and security: (1) search for financial security, and (2) a balance between limitedness and safety. The first type can be found in the interviews with young employees, who leave their country of origin in search for experience, stabilization and financial/material independence. The second form emerges in narrations with mobile students, who want to escape social control (especially from their parents) but at the same time need to feel safe and protected, dimensions neglected by policy in the mobility discourse. Our contribution questions the taken for granted positive side of mobility while shading the light on struggles, frictions and (in)securities young people are confronted while being mobile.


Being nowhere? Young Refugees in Germany between employment and deportation

Dr. Andrea Plöger
Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin

The demand for a „decent life" echoed during the uprisings from Tunisia to Yemen, was voiced most loudly by the „unemployed academics". The reaction was violent in many cases and has also contributed widely to the highest number of refugees after the Second World War. The right to work and to study was one of the main demands of refugees and migrants during the protest movement started in 2012 in Germany. In 2015 in the year of the so called “summer of migration”, representatives of economy and industry in Germany were welcoming the newcomers (Positionspapier BdA 2015). The former prohibition to work or to study while applying for asylum had been lifted in 2014.

Drawing on data from a two year course with young unattended minors and students of Social Work as well as experiences with a Pre-Studies program for refugees at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, I will discuss the current situation of unsecurity for asylum seekers in Germany who attempt to find steady employment as also a means to find their place in the receiving society and therefore is perceived as a main indicator for “successful integration” (Bihter/ Ziebarth 2016). The threat of deportation and the difficulty of entering academia and finding a steady job often complicate the situation for refugees additionally to the general uncertainty of migration and flight.

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