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Young people in industrialized nations have experienced significant changes in the transition to adulthood in recent decades. Globalization, via the (1) internationalization and importance of markets, (2) intensified competition, (3) accelerated spread of networks and knowledge via new technologies, and (4) increasing dependence on random shocks, has transformed the transition to adulthood. The purpose of this chapter is to ask to what extent these changes have influenced young people's ability to establish themselves as independent adults when making the school-to-work transition, forming partnerships, and becoming parents. Has globalization produced a fundamental shift in the behavior of youths as they cope with increasing uncertainty about the future? How do different domestic institutions filter these transformations? This chapter develops a multilevel conceptual framework of how globalization impacts the transition to adulthood and summarizes the main results from the first phase of the international research project GLOBALIFE (Life Courses in the Globalization Process) (Blossfeld, Klizjing, Mills, & Kurz, 2005). The study includes fourteen country-specific studies, from Canada (Mills, 2005), the United States (King, 2005), Great Britain (Francesconi & Golsch, 2005), Germany (Kurz, Steinhage, & Golsch, 2005), the Netherlands (Liefbroer, 2005), France (Kieffer, Marry, Meron, & Solaz, 2005), Norway (Nilsen, 2005), Sweden (Bygren, Duvander, & Hultin, 2005), Italy (Bernardi & Nazio, 2005), Spain (Simó Noguera, Castro Martín, & Soro Bonmatí, 2005), Mexico (Parrado, 2005), Ireland (Layte, O'Connell, Fahey, & McCoy, 2005), Estonia (Katus, Purr, & Sakkeus, 2005), and Hungary (Róbert & Bukodi, 2005).

Original publication





Book title

Transitions from School to Work: Globalization, Individualization, and Patterns of Diversity

Publication Date



95 - 118