Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN30_06b: Housing transitions
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Maria-Carmen Pantea, 'BBU
Location: GM.303
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Leaving the Parental Home Patterns among Young Europeans

Henna Johanna Isoniemi, Milla Heleena Salin, Jarkko Rasinkangas

University of Turku, Finland

In general, transition-to-adulthood process involves leaving the parental home, entering the labour market, forming a partnership, and childbearing and childrearing. In this paper, we will concentrate on one of the transition events, leaving the parental home which is often seen as an essential stepping stone towards adulthood. There is major variation in the timing of this event, and the diversity of the durations and timings is part of the pattern common in modern Europe. The differences between countries indicate that the transition process is not as structured as before and that there is more freedom to make individual choices.

The purpose of this paper is to perform a cross-country comparison of leaving the parental home behaviour, to describe when this transition happens and to focus specifically on delayed leaving home behaviour and its consequences. Leaving the parental home has been rather widely discussed, but there is a lack of comparative empirical and explanatory research. This paper contributes to filling this gap. This is done by using the EU-SILC data set (2016), by comparing 20 European countries and by using logistic multilevel regression analysis.

According to preliminary results, there are several alternative explanations for why young adults in different countries leave their parental homes at different times. The results of the paper show that there is variation between European countries in terms of young adults’ leaving the parental home processes and practices.

Housing and Migration Intents in Post-Socialist Europe: the Case of Serbia

Tanja Andic

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA

Over half of Serbians under the age of 35 report an intent to emigrate abroad. Among the stated factors influencing this decision are the Serbian economy, how youth perceive structures of advancement, and how they understand the post-socialist state compared to Western liberal democracies – all of which impact their transitions into adulthood and independence. In this presentation, I focus on how independent home ownership (typically obtained through family purchase or inheritance), or lack thereof, shapes how young Serbians who intend to emigrate understand their potential migrations. Drawing on data from qualitative interviews of 35 young adults who are considering leaving the country (and some of whom have already left), I find that those who have received or inherited housing consider their potential migration as an 'exploration' of better economic opportunities, which they can pursue safely with the knowledge that they can always return. Conversely, those who were not given housing by their families, and who will not inherit it in the future, feel they will be 'obligated' to emigrate eventually – whether or not they want to. They cite the impossibility of simultaneously paying rent (and especially purchasing a home) and financing everyday needs with the low wages they earn in Serbia. Contextualized historically by the 1990s privatization process of Yugoslav-era social housing, I conclude that home ownership is already restructuring class configurations in Serbia while shaping how young people plan for and understand their futures. In the long term, housing is set to become a significant factor in generating class inequality across the European post-socialist sphere.

Housing Transitions of Taiwanese Young Adults

Yung Han Chang

University of Kang Ning, Taiwan

In the context of rapid social changes, young adults’ transition to full adulthood in Taiwan has gradually deviated from the traditional track with prolonged education, delaying marriage, and a growth in singlehood. For those young adults in the “waithood”, as the "independence at the age of thirty" no longer applies and the markers of adulthood seem unachievable in the foreseeable future, alternative tracks in the transitions to adulthood emerge in the areas of housing, family, and work. Among all the transitions, previous studies in Taiwan rarely examined young adults’ housing pathways. Drawing on longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Family Dynamics in Taiwan, this study investigated the housing transitions of young adults from 2003 to 2016. Based on the results from the sequence analysis and multinomial logit model, this study found different transition patterns among young adults of different genders and areas. Moreover, the comparisons between different age groups showed that the younger generation are facing more turbulent housing transitions than their older counterparts.

Young Adults In The Swedish Periphery: Resources, Choices, And Outlooks For The Future

Anna Bennich-Björkman

Uppsala University, Sweden

Based mainly on in-depth interviews with young adults in small Swedish towns, the study aims to capture conditions of growing up in non-urban environments, and its implications. Results from field work in Söderhamn will be presented, a town where saw mills, and later cellulose industry, dominated the labor market. Following the shutdown of these industries, the labor market has diversified; where heavy industry once reigned, the municipality is now, by far, the largest employer. Interviews with adolescents between 16 and 21 aim to answer questions regarding how they relate to this geographical place, how they envisage and plan for the future, what options and choices they make. With higher education sometimes appearing both geographically and mentally distant, adolescents in traditionally working-class towns are faced with, I argue, more complex options, than previous generations.

Preliminary results show a number of factors affecting adolescents’ options and choices for the future. Families are firmly rooted geographically; parents, grandparents, and extended family remain in the area, contributing to adolescents’ sense of geographical belonging, and sometimes inability to imagine life elsewhere. Parents’ education and work seemingly impact the adolescents’ aspirations and capacity to navigate education and labor markets. Results suggest that those opting for studies and high-skilled work have a largely positive view of their hometown; but given their ambitions, moving often becomes inevitable. Adolescents who want an occupation which the labor market in Söderhamn can offer, appear negative about remaining, often expressing a want to leave – but rarely knowing where to go.

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