The parameters within which young people live their lives have changed radically. In particular, rapid and dizzying changes to education systems and labour markets around the world have dramatically increased the complexity of the so-called `youth phase'. While `youth' and `young adulthood' have developed and cohered into critical concepts in contemporary social and cultural analysis, the daunting quantity (and variable quality) of the available research exploring the many, often controversial, issues that the concepts throw up makes it difficult to discriminate the useful from the tendentious, superficial, and otiose. That is why this new four-volume collection in the highly regarded Routledge series, Critical Concepts in Sociology, is so timely. It answers the urgent need for a wide-ranging 'mini library' to provide easy access to the key items of scholarly literature, material that is often inaccessible or scattered throughout a variety of specialist journals and books. Youth and Young Adulthood is supplemented with a full index, and includes a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context. It is destined to be valued by scholars and students, and researchers as a vital resource. * * * * * Andy Furlong, the lead editor of this collection, is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Glasgow. He edits the Journal of Youth Studies and is an adviser to the Japanese Youth Cohort Survey team.
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