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Press Release 39/2001

March, 19th 2001

Globalization and the Transition from Youth to Adulthood

The Chair for General Sociology within the Faculty for Sociology will be organizing a two-day International Workshop on Globalization and the Transition from Youth to Adulthood, with special regard for the role of country-specific institutions from March 23 to 24 at the University of Bielefeld within the GLOBALIFE Project (Life Courses in the Globalization Process) chaired by Professor Hans-Peter Blossfeld, and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

The participants coming from Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the USA will try to shed light on the differential role that country-specific institutions and policies play in mediating the influence of globalization on the transition from youth to adulthood, under the assumption that globalization seems to be the root of the acceleration in the change of a number of important economic, social, and political macro processes within most modern societies.

Examples for that are (1) the increasing significance of knowledge and information, as illustrated by educational expansion, highly qualified jobs and the growing importance of information and communication technologies; (2) the extraordinary rise in productivity, as illustrate by the rapidly growing service sector as well as by rising unemployment rates; (3) the growing need of flexibility, as illustrated by the increase in marginal work, part-time employment and short-term labor contracts; (4) the increasing uncertainty of future developments and the instablility of social relations, as illustrated by the pluralization of living arrarangements and the decline in fertility; and (5) the intensified competition among nation states, as reflected in the stagnation and even erosion of the welfare state.

The basic premise of the workshop is that due to their institutional embeddedness and path dependence, these macro processes vary from country to country. As a result, they are expected to have very country-specific effects on the transition from youth to adulthood for successive birth cohorts. For the purposes of the study, this transition can be laid out into three interdependent processes: (1) from school to work; (2) first partnership formation; and (3) first parenthood. The 16 lectures and the results of the debate are going to be published in proceedings.

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Tel. 0049 521 /106 4628 /-6992. Internet: http://alia.soziologie.uni-bielefeld.de/globalife.html.

Press and Information Office, 2001-03-20

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