Dissertation Abstracts

Transitions to adulthood of individuals from two generations of Cotonois: Comparative study

Author: Alladatin, Judicaël , judicael.alladatin@jefar.ulaval.ca
Department: Social Sciences
University: Laval univiversity, Canada
Supervisor: Richard Marcoux
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: French

Keywords: transitions to adulthood , youth , trajectories , social transformations
Areas of Research: Family Research , Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change , Youth


This thesis aims to compare transitions to adulthood of individuals from two generations of Cotonois marked by very different socio-economic contexts: seniors (50-67 years, born between 1945 and 1960, registered in the context of state paternalism provider of employment) and youth (22-37 years, born between 1975 and 1990, registered in the context of economic crisis and Democratic Renewal).

This comparison is performed based on four trajectories and many transitions, considered in a three-dimensional model. The data used come from twenty interviews in preliminary survey and fifty-five detailed interviews.

Our results reveal within each cohort the existence of a variety of transition to adulthood model. Compared with individuals born between 1945 and 1960, the first residential transitions and professional insertions are relatively early for young people born between 1975 and 1990, while the first reproductive and married life transitions are relatively late. Thus, there is a tendency towards the lengthening of the transition to adulthood. We also note that a majority of individuals in the senior’s cohort have gone through a series of a family, residential and occupational transitions ordered almost the same way. This ritual trend fades at young people level, leaving a relative pluralization of transitions to adulthood. Transitions to adulthood acquire new characteristics; they are becoming more complex, sometimes even overriding margin standards and social values.

However, these transformations have not a widespread social pessimism character. It seems rather that the terms of social regulation are transformed and allow the emergence of an individual between ritualization and pluralization of course, between new pressures and assertiveness, between responsibility and independence. Far from announcing the beginning of the reign of individualized and personalized courses, the pluralization of transitions to adulthood in the young cohort shows the emergence of transformations and adaptations of social logics to contemporary context marked notably by a persistent economic crisis. These transformations and adaptations fit into the current empowerment of community democratization and community individualization.