Inventing Adulthoods: A biographical approach to youth transitions
Arts and Human Sciences London South Bank University London, UK
The Inventing Adulthoods Study is a 12 year qualitative longitudinal study of transitions to adulthood that commenced in 1996, an eventful period in social and historical terms. 100 young men and women (11-17 years old at the start) in five varied geographical locations, reflecting the very different socio-economic and cultural environments of young people in the UK, have been followed with up to six biographical interviews, complemented with other methods. The same team of researchers have followed the young people throughout, offering particular insights into the processes of transition. The resulting unique dataset has been highly productive both substantively and methodologically, and is in the process of being digitally archived, offering considerable potential for secondary analysis, data sharing, and cross cultural comparisons. I will introduce and discuss the methodological approach and some findings from the study. My intention is to showcase the archive, provide examples of secondary analysis already undertaken and consider possibilities for the future. It is of particular interest to explore the possibilities and potential for collaborative cross cultural investigations of young people?s transitions to adulthood from this starting point.