Holdsworth, CM (2017) The cult of experience: standing out from the crowd in an era of austerity. Area, 49 (3). pp. 296-302. ISSN 1475-4762

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Faced with uncertain futures associated with precarious/casualised employment or unemployment, young people are increasingly encouraged to invest in practices of distinction that enable them to stand out from the crowd in the pursuit of employability. These practices include the acquisition of experiences, such as work experience, internships, volunteering, travel and membership of organisations, which are assumed to give young people an edge over their peers in a crowded and increasingly globalised youth labour market. This paper challenges the logic that the acquisition of experience is a solution to tightening youth labour market conditions. I consider how the logic of employability means that young people are increasingly expected to run faster to stand still, and that rather than moving towards the future, they are increasingly fixed by their past. Moreover this fetishizing of experiences limits young people's subjectivity, because in expecting young people to accumulate more, they may end up achieving, and experiencing, less.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: youth, employability, experience, future
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 14:06
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 11:43
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/762

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