9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN30 Youth and Generation

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Youth, Risk and Poverty Building II, Auditório B2.03

Understanding Poverty From Poor Young People's Experiences: Thinking Over the Reproduction Processes of Poverty in Turkey

The aim of this study is to unfold the meaning of poverty from the poor young people's narratives. The field research based on semi-structured interviews with 65 poor young people living in Ankara's poor sub-urban areas, manifested that these young people experience poverty as a multi-dimensional problem. From these young people's accounts, poverty being experienced is beyond the material deprivation and includes different types of social exclusion processes. According to their expressions the meaning of being "poor young" adds different connotations to both "poverty" and also being "young", which makes their experiences unique.

The life conditions of these young people prevent them to reach better life standards in the future, reproduces social hierarchy and class based distinctions. In this study, Turkish poor youth's life conditions contributing the reproduction of poverty will be analysed through education, labour market relationships and physical and social environment subheadings. While relationships with educational processes defeat and eliminate these young people at the begining of the game, inadequate educational levels lead them to get vulnerable positions in the labour market and physical and social settings contribute to the "stigmatization" of these young people. Following to inequalities in opportunities and conditions, their life chances to enhance thier capabilities and life qualities are restricted, besides building secure future forthemselves is difficult to accomplish. By being subject to these life conditions from the early childhood, poor young people internalize poverty and their subaltern positions. As Pierre Bourdieu expresses with the term "habitus", mutual relationships between the mental structures and social structures assign the limits of what is possible and not possible in these young people's lifes, their life chances and their dispositions in various subjects.

This study aims to discuss different conceptualisations and dimensions of poverty in different contexts by putting forward the poor youth's expressions and highlight how disadvantaged life conditions transform into poverty reproduction mechanisms by focusing on the consistency between social structures and cognitive structures