Twenty-five and Something. Transition to Adulthood in Europe.

The conditions and the state of young adults in contemporary societies are closely connected to such common social challenges as ageing of population, declining fertility, changing family structures and gender relations, and also to structural issues like the viability of economies and welfare arrangements. Our project emphasises the structural aspects of young adults’ conditions and the effects of different welfare state policies.

The project provides a detailed analysis of the structural aspects of the state and conditions of young adults in seven European societies representing different political and economic histories, religious and ideological backgrounds and different welfare state types – Finland, France, Germany (East and West), Hungary, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Focusing on young adults and their conditions offers a perspective to analyse and compare different European societies providing in-depth knowledge not only of young adults but also of differences and similarities between European states with different pasts and with common future as European Union Member States.

The comparative research project (a) analyses and compares structural aspects of the conditions of young adults in Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain and Sweden and to compare the case countries to European Union average, (b) analyses differences and similarities of the transition from youth to adulthood in the given countries focusing on education, work and family from 1990 till the early 21st century and (c) examines whether and to what extent the process of European integration affects social trends in the given societies and circumstances within which young adults live. These objectives are common to the sub-studies although the studies strive for them from different points of view making most of each researcher’s expertise.

The project applies the methodological approach of case-oriented comparative study making use of diverse data composed of socio-demographic statistics (Eurostat, the OECD, the UN, the ILO), of highly comparable surveys (ISSP, ESS, WVS, Eurobarometers), of context specific literature, reports and national statistics and surveys, and documents, reports and recommendations of European Commission and other bodies of the EU. In addition, a small qualitative interview data among French and Finnish young adults aged 25-30 will be collected.

Publications and theses