Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: School, work and unemployment : social and cultural reproduction on the Isle of Sheppey
Author: Wallace, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0001 3557 0853
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1984
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The central argument of the thesis is that the transition from school to work may be conceptualised as part of a broader process of social and cultural reproduction. This incorporates both the reproduction of young people as workers and the reproduction of their gender roles. This is in turn related to their roles within the family and the movement through the life cycle. The thesis in general focusses on the inter-relations between styles of consumption, production and reproduction amongst young people and the ways in which unemployment affects these. The empirical data were collected during the course of five years of research in a small community in Kent where unemployment had been endemic for some twenty years. They were derived from a longitudinal sample survey conducted between 1979 and 1980 amongst young people aged 16 to 18. This was supplemented by participant observation, extended interviews and the use of Careers Office and School Records. The first part of the thesis critically reviews distinct perspectives in social science research relating to the transition from school to work, unemployment, cultural reproduction and the construction of gender roles. Hypotheses derived from this review are then tested against empirical data described in the second half of the thesis. Three main themes are explored: Firstly, the changing relationship between school and the local community under different social and economic conditions is documented through the use of historical material. Secondly, responses to unemployment are examined, showing that these are related to the construction of gender identities and to relationships within the family. Thirdly, the thesis illustrates the disjunctions between young people's occupational aspirations or preferences and the realities of the situation which faced them in a declining labour market. These themes are related by an analysis of the processes of cultural reproduction through which identities were both transmitted and creatively constructed, serving to differentiate groups of school leavers. It is argued that the adjustment to working life is problematical and constitutes part of a longer term process of social reproduction of which entry into the labour market is only one stage. In fine, this thesis contributes both theoretically and empirically to the contemporary understanding of a crucial period of transition.
Supervisor: Pahl, Ray Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education ; HM Sociology