Risks of social exclusion among Youth in Latvia
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Agency of the University of Latvia Riga, Latvia
Faculty of Social Sciences University of Latvia Riga, Latvia
Traditionally, integration of youth into society is imagined as consecutive transition - school, training or studies, which prepares for definite professional positions, and the beginning of employment. This view is closely associated with standard model of life path and it emphasizes that adult status is based on paid work and family. Thus, the border between status of young and adult man is clearly defined: this is the end of the studies and the start of the working life. However integration and inclusion can't pass mechanically, this process depends on individual decision and choice; and unfortunately, there are groups within youth which drops out of requirements of "standard" model.
Within contemporary society, which is success-oriented and therefore, educational achievement is an indicator of success and key to an individual's future prospects, insufficient education becomes a factor for stigmatization, which contributes to social exclusion.
The aim of this research is, firstly, to identify groups within youth who are neither in education, employment nor in training (NEET); and secondly, to define the protective factors and risks that effect the level of integration into society for youth.
The research is based on secondary analysis of data from one of the major longitudinal comparative educational research in the world TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematic and Science Study) and data collected by researchers of Agency of the University of Latvia - Institute of Philosophy and Sociology:
1) Qualitative methods: in-depth interviews with target groups and experts - municipal principals ,educational experts and social workers ;
2) Quantitative methods: data from international comparative educational research, several surveys of youth with low educational achievement level, and data from Latvian youth survey enable the author to analyze the employment opportunities for youth. .
Research data has shown that low educational achievement and the insufficient working experience are ones of the most significant risks, what affects social exclusion among youth.