Career decisions are considered as turning points or critical moments that might have an significant impact in the life course and identity. The decision for further schooling, or education is shaped not only by the individual opportunity structure but is also influenced by the institutional configuration (e.g. educational system). In order to understand the decision-making process regarding educational choices, researchers, policy-makers as well as practitioners have to understand the changes in the life courses of today’s youth, considering the impact of society, its institutions as well as their personal experiences too.
This paper (PhD project) focuses on the interface between youth-education-transition research. The focal point lies on the question of which aspects influence decision and how these decisions are made by young people who are in the school-to-school and school-to-work transition phase. This will be examined from a sociological perspective. One of the traditional questions of sociology is what significant influence society has on society. An “”anchor point”” for developing this PhD project was the idea presented in The odyssey: school to work transitions, serendipity and position in the field (2017) by Atkins. She assumes that serendipity and the position in the field– in Bourdieu’s words the interplay between habitusand the accumulation of capital – play an important role in decision-making. The author mentions two aspects to consider: first the position of the individual in the social field and second the implications of serendipity, because life events or in general the life course is often not predictable. This is interesting because the idea of serendipity is somehow contradictory to the contention that institutional structures besides agency influence the decision-making process and need to be more elaborated.
This project aims to be a collaborative effort. Instead of researching about young people and looking at them simply as research objects, this research will give young people a voice and the opportunity to express their experiences, feelings and thoughts. In other words, this research is not ‘just’ about them, but about walking the path together with them, researching the topic and asking them about their experiences and dreams in relation to the transition from school to school or from school to work. This project therefore examines which aspects influence the decisions especially those critical events. Critical moments, critical junctures or turning points such as moving to another school, divorce of parents or illness are metaphors that are described in the literature as critical events in life courses. Special emphasis is also placed on how personal or structural factors such as institutional support affect educational decisions and life paths of young people. How autonomously can the young person really make decisions or to which extent is the decision related or affected by the social environment? Are decisions related to education made by young people (serendipitous) randomly or rationally? In order to answer this question, four different theoretical perspectives are used. These various theoretical approaches (life-course approach, neo-institutionalism, careership theory and projectivity approach) and empirical instruments have to be seen in a conversation together to get a holistic picture. Thus, to understand the phenomenon of youth transitions, a combination of a macro-micro perspective will be provided. A research framework applying a three-stage research design is developed. With this research design, the researcher aims at uncovering social mechanisms, new risk patterns and the changing nature of the life courses of today’s young people. By using different instruments of qualitative research, data will be analysed (i.e., secondary qualitative data, semi-structured interviews and group discussions) in a comparative manner. Interviews will be conducted with youths and teachers, represented with different gender, social statuses, experience in teaching and work/go to school in different regions in order to provide a deep understanding of youths enrolled in an NMS, how they perceive their future and in order to gain insights of their youth experiences. Thus, the main research question of this PhD project is:
• What are the different factors influencing young people’s decision-making about education and/or training on leaving school in Austria?
Research in Austria on the life course of young people and their educational decisions from a sociological point of view is limited. The overall aim of this doctoral thesis is therefore to provide an understanding of relevant aspects of how the different various factors influence the decision-making process of young people. By linking each concept to another to gain knowledge of youth transitions, and particularly school-to-school or school-to-work transition, it is easier to understand how life courses are influenced by life events and what institutional configurations influence the decision young people about their educational decisions. ”
Findings of the study
The finding of study indicated that poverty (child trafficking and migration), family breakdown and peer influence, are identified as the major factors that push children to enter in the weaving sector. The study also found out that child labor has negative impact on the children’s health, physical wellbeing, psycho-social development and education. The study recommends that the prime cause that forces children to work in their early age is the wide spread poverty of families. Thus, there is a need to educate parents, employers, community on the methods they need to solve their socio-economic problems.
Japan, which plays a pivotal role in the sex markets of East and Southeast Asia, provides for a particularly fascinating and consequential case study of the ways regional and domestic approaches to human trafficking are culturally and historically contingent. Though the face of sex trafficking may have changed in tandem with historical circumstances, commonalities persist across the years. Japan’s historical relations to the sex trade and sex trafficking demonstrably contribute to the prevalence and perseverance of harmful practices and attitudes into the twenty-first century. In 2004, the Japanese government crafted its National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which committed it to “make dedicated efforts to consider the requirements and contents for the revision of domestic laws necessary for implementing the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons” (MOFA of Japan 2004, 2). However, cultural and historical factors have inhibited the success of these and subsequent reforms. Though Japan became a signatory to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in 2002, the fact that acceptance was only given in July 2017—fifteen years after Japan signaled its willingness to complete the treaty-making process—brings into question the government’s commitment to the anti-trafficking cause. In their failure to accomplish their stated goals, the 2004 NAP reforms were all but innovative—indeed, the Japanese state has a three-hundred year history of facilitating rather than combatting sex trafficking, and has a habit of amending or passing legislation in the realm of the sex trade that amount to little more than cosmetic changes.
This project seeks to build upon the existing cultural and historical analyses of Japan’s sex trade-related problems by examining how the country’s traditional attitudes towards women, prostitution, human trafficking, race, and international relations continue to influence its anti-trafficking efforts in the post-Cold War era. The research will strive to answer why Japan’s anti-trafficking measures have fallen short, and how Japan’s unique history has influenced gender and international relations and, in turn, the current shape of trafficking patterns and policies. It will further examine how discriminatory attitudes towards gender and race hamper anti-trafficking efforts and will uncover the disadvantages associated with current anti-trafficking strategies. Crucially, a lack of political willingness, fueled by harmful constructs of masculinity, racism, and a peculiarly enduring affinity between the state and sex trade, continue to critically impede the adequate prosecution of human trafficking operations in Japan. Notably, interpreting and handling sex trafficking as a women’s issue has allowed for the maintenance of harmful, preconceived notions about gender roles and obviated authorities from the need to reconsider their flawed prejudices. The persistent stigma against women involved in the sex trade hinders their ability to come forward and report their trafficking, denies them agency, and relegates them to a dichotomous role as either amoral women or victims. As such, important cultural shifts will be essential to the development of successful, effective anti-trafficking measures.
A historical overview of Japan’s official and unofficial involvement in the sex trade and trafficking is critical to setting the stage for post-Cold War patterns, and to allow for a well-rounded grasp of the source of many current issues related to race and gender. An analysis of both historical and modern trafficking (and related) legislation/policies, focusing on the discrepancies between their stated goals and actual outcomes, serves to illustrate their shortcomings and can help us infer the underlying motivations in addressing matters of human trafficking. The critical perspective in trafficking literature and feminist theories of power and international relations provide the theoretical framework for this project, which aims to produce new perspectives on the research questions by taking advantage of critical, intersectional gender theory to reveal the role of social constructions of gender in human trafficking in Japan.”