Misrepresenting choice biographies? A reply to Woodman

Roberts, Steven (2010) Misrepresenting choice biographies? A reply to Woodman. Journal of Youth Studies, 13, (1), 137-149. (doi:10.1080/13676260903233720).


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This paper provides a reply to Woodman's (2009) recent argument that youth studies often incorrectly attribute the concept of 'choice biographies' to the work of Ulrich Beck. Drawing heavily on Beck's own words, this paper contends that youth researchers might not be making this association unduly. Consideration is paid to some conceptual issues outlined by Will Atkinson, which Woodman has not appeared to consider, that challenge Beck's rejection of the relevance of structural analysis. Further, a review of some empirical evidence countering Beck's theory of 'individualization' suggests that 'middle-ground' positions in youth sociology can arguably be justified. Finally, it is proposed that Woodman's defence of Beck is partly a reflection of an alignment of focus between Beck's theoretical repertoire and Woodman's preferred method for understanding the youth period - the concept of generation.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/13676260903233720
ISSNs: 1367-6261 (print)
1469-9680 (electronic)
Keywords: class, ulrich beck, individualization, youth transitions, choice biography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education
ePrint ID: 169595
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2010Published
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2010 16:44
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:31
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/169595

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