Young people and leisure in a deprived urban area
This thesis reports on a study of the leisure activities of a group of young people aged eleven to sixteen, growing up in a particularly deprived urban area of Plymouth. The analyses are based on data derived from secondary sources, a questionnaire survey, and semi-structured interviews. The fieldwork was conducted between November 1991, and June 1992. Much sociological research into the transition to adulthood has concentrated on the years from sixteen to twenty-one as the years when the most important life changes occur. Thus, the transition to adulthood is seen as part of a process of social and cultural reproduction, taking place through the transition from school to work, the transition to an independent residential unit, and the transition to a family of one's own. This thesis, however, suggests that the transition to adulthood begins much earlier than sixteen, and that this can be illustrated through the changing nature of leisure activities between the ages of eleven and sixteen. This thesis, therefore, is an exploration of the ways in which leisure practices change between the ages of eleven and sixteen, and the significance of those changes for the transition to adulthood, as part of a process of social and cultural reproduction. A distinction is made between home-based activities; out-of-home organised activities; out-of-home unorganised activities; sporting activities; cultural activities; and illegal activities. Here, the evidence suggests that between the ages of eleven and sixteen, there is a general decline in home based activities, and out-of-home organised activities, and a move towards more unstructured, unorganised activities, foUowed by a move towards more adult-oriented leisure activities. These data indicate that the transition to adulthood, as part of a process of social and cultural reproduction, is characterised by a number of informal and less structured changes taking place in young people's lives, prior to the age of sixteen. These are at least as important as the structural changes which take place beyond the age of sixteen. These findings provide case study information on a particular set o f leisure experiences, and relate to wider perspectives on the transition to adulthood.