This research explores the trajectories of personal and professional development, focusing on the acquisition of a sense of adulthood by italian emerging adults, who appear to be excluded or at the margins of productive world. The not adequate supply of employment opportunities consistent with the training, in the Italian context, results in new forms of insecurity, unemployment and underemployment. The research aims to identify strategies that could promote interventions for educational institutions according to the new needs brought about by changes in the socio-economic context. The study refers to the literature on the processes of identity development (Erikson, 1968; March, 1980, Harter, 1988), with particular regard to the commitment making and both the ruminative and active moratorium (Luyckx, Goossens, Soenens, 2006) in emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2000, 2004). It also refers to the narrative identity (Bruner, 1994; Smorti, 1997), and in particular to issues of agency in the autobiographical productions (McAdams, 2004). The hypothesis is that the peculiar problems of integration in the work context could represent risk factors in emerging adults and inhibit an effective opportunity to consolidate their identity and take on adults' roles and status. More specifically, we assume that some identity dimensions are important resources for the resolution of developmental tasks inherent the transition to adulthood and the construction of satisfactory career paths. We hypothesize that these could be a sort of identity capital (Côté, 200), that emerging adults could have or not, and that they could invest in the new labor market. Method Measures We have used a narrative approach, focusing on the processes of meaning attribution to first work experiences. In particular, the textual data analysis was focalized on narrative identity (McAdams, 1996, Bauer & McAdams, 2004), investigated by the autobiographical narration of personal experiences of job research of italian emerging adults. We selected 80 stories (autobiographical narratives) from a big stories’ database produced in response to a stimulation of a daily newspaper about the youth labor market in Italy. Participants The participants were 80 Italian emerging adults, whose narratives were randomly selected from the general database. They were aged from 25 to 32, they had an high level of post secondary education and were unemployed or occasional workers. Analysis of textual data Textual data were analyzed with qualitative and quantitative analysis of lexical content, using Alceste software (Reinert, 1993). In particular we performed: 1. Factor analysis of lexical correspondences, 2. Cluster analysis. Results and Discussion Factor analysis of lexical correspondences identified two factors explaining the multiplicity of told experiences: ‘professional identity’ on one hand and ‘personal identity’ on the other hand. In the variety and multiplicity of events that divided the corpus of stories, personal identity and professional identity appeared as distinct components, difficult to harmonize in a synthesis. The Cluster Analysis also identified peculiar worlds, or universes of meaning: Relational Context, Curriculum, Working conditions, Balance of the experiences. In summary for all participants, as assumed, insecurity, instability, underemployment, unemployment seem to hinder the process of achieving independence and autonomy and the recruitment of adult roles. These difficulties create disappointment, feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, dissatisfaction, distrust, anger.
The undefined identity of the young italian:prolonged emerging adulthood in precarious work conditions / Sica, LUIGIA SIMONA; Nasti, Maria; Sestito, Laura. - (2011). (Intervento presentato al convegno 5th Conference on Emerging Adulthood tenutosi a Providence nel October 2011).