The importance of socio-spatial influences in shaping young people's employment aspirations : case study evidence from three British cities

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Over the last two decades a vibrant body of research committed to investigating the complex inter-relationships between ?the social? and ?the spatial? has gathered momentum within sociology and the social sciences more generally. Focusing on young people, this article seeks to develop further insights regarding the sociology of place using the spatial visualization technique of mental mapping as part of a mixed-methods approach. Its main contribution is to develop a more nuanced understanding of young people?s localized cognitive spaces and associated socio-spatial influences in three deprived urban areas in Hull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. In this context, the article explores the role of place in shaping young people?s social networks, identities and aspirations regarding employment and highlights the implications of these for future research.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-313
Number of pages19
JournalWork, Employment & Society
Issue number2
Early online date6 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015