The NEET concept in comparative youth research: the Nordic countries and South Africa

Bjorn Hallstein Holte, Ignatius Swart, Heikki Hiilamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The NEET concept has become widely used internationally since its emergence in the UK almost two decades ago. This article reviews the adoption of the concept in two extreme contexts in terms of NEET rates, youth opportunities and youth welfare: the Nordic countries and South Africa. The article discusses the situations of NEET young people in the two contexts, and how the concept is used in the wealthy and relatively homogenous Nordic welfare states and in relatively poorer and racially divided South Africa. While the concept has been problematised in different ways in Nordic youth research, it has been more readily accepted by South African researchers. We argue that, in both contexts, the NEET concept can be taken as an invitation to look beyond individual life situations and biographies, and to focus on how structural forces such as the political economy shape young people’s lives. The NEET concept provides a way of discussing changing opportunity structures and how global social forces such as globalisation and neoliberalisation shape young people’s lives in different contexts. The NEET concept is useful in comparative youth research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of youth studies
Volume22
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)256-272
Number of pages17
ISSN1367-6261
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • NEET
  • youth unemployment
  • youth marginalisation
  • Nordic countries
  • South Africa
  • YOUNG-PEOPLE
  • TRANSITIONS
  • RISK
  • 5142 Social policy

Cite this

Holte, Bjorn Hallstein ; Swart, Ignatius ; Hiilamo, Heikki. / The NEET concept in comparative youth research : the Nordic countries and South Africa. In: Journal of youth studies. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 256-272.
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The NEET concept in comparative youth research : the Nordic countries and South Africa. / Holte, Bjorn Hallstein; Swart, Ignatius; Hiilamo, Heikki.

In: Journal of youth studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, 07.02.2019, p. 256-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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