Transition and Constitution in School/Work Relations

  • Matti Vesa Volanen


In every industrial society, there must exist some kind of a transitional mechanism between the demand for and supply of a labour force, that is, a mechanism that facilitates the transition from school to work and from job to job both inside and outside the labour force. There are at least two main ways of organising such a school-labour network. The first way follows the pattern of a marketplace, that is, the labour market process is an extension of the existing market of commodities. In this pattern, the fundamental question in the marketplace relates to buying and selling and to pricing. The second way in which a school-labour network can be organised is based on the idea of a social guarantee, that is, a workplace and/or place of schooling should be provided to the individual in one way or another. The definition of school-labour relations as a transitional process automatically directs our attention to administrative problems, specifically to the questions of how to manage the channels between the school and prospective workplaces and how to regulate the volume, speed and direction of communication between these. We can formulate the problem in other words that introduce the interesting possibility of connecting three different conceptual levels: institutional processes (school system, labour market process and production process), production of identity (transparency of the institutions) and individual (self-)management of life (developmental tasks in adulthood). What kind of institutional terms can make social institutions transparent to a young adult, giving him or her the possibility to see through society and its way of functioning? It is not so much a question of transition from one place to another, but rather a question of social individualisation, that is, of the constitutions of institutions.


Labour Market Labour Force Monetary Policy Social Institution Employment Protection Legislation 
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© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Finnish Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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