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‘The new degree?’ Constructing internships in the third sector

Record type: Article

The recent economic recession has impacted substantially on the graduate labour market, with many graduates now struggling to find secure employment in professional careers. In this context, temporary, unpaid ‘internships’ have emerged as increasingly important as a ‘way in’ to work for this group. Yet while there has been much media and policy debate on internships, academic consideration has been scant. This paper begins to address this knowledge gap by drawing on a study of interns in a third sector environmental organisation. The research findings reveal that unpaid internships were rationalised through a complex mix of political motivations, career ambitions and lifestyle aims, but these intersected in important ways with social class. These findings are not only of empirical interest, contributing to our knowledge of graduate negotiations of precarity, but also of theoretical value, extending our understanding of young people’s agency and motivations in transitions into work.

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Citation

Leonard, Pauline, Halford, Susan and Bruce, Katie (2016) ‘The new degree?’ Constructing internships in the third sector Sociology, 50, (2), pp. 383-399. (doi:10.1177/0038038515574456).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 January 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 May 2015
Published date: April 2016
Keywords: youth, transitions, internships, third sector, recession, class
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374623
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374623
ISSN: 0038-0385
PURE UUID: 420a58d8-68ed-45a9-8ecf-c455f46b8a66
ORCID for Pauline Leonard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8112-0631

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Feb 2015 14:54
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:25

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Contributors

Author: Pauline Leonard ORCID iD
Author: Susan Halford
Author: Katie Bruce

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