Olivier GALLAND, 3. Boundless Youth. Studies in the Transition to Adulthood, Oxford, The Bardwell Press, 2007, , 2007

In Boundless Youth, his first major publication in English, Olivier Galland argues forcefully for the continued relevance of a distinctive age group called «youth» despite its changing and increasingly diffuse character. He challenges Talcott Parson’s influential conception of the age group and Pierre Bourdieu’s rejection of «youth» as a distinctive social category. Galland’s brilliant examination of youth in French society puts its contemporary crisis into sharp perspective. He shows that the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood is a process linked to the highly structured nature of the French education system and labour market. Using data from extensive survey research, Galland shows how the transition from childhood to adulthood has greatly changed in recent years. Two detailed case studies examine the role of intergenerational verbal exchanges and the impact of the stigmatisation of appearance on young people. Galland concludes that differing social backgrounds and levels of education of young people play significant roles in transitions to adulthood and these differences are more important to study than any supposed intergenerational divide.