POVERTY AND THE SOCIAL MOBILITY CHANCES OF YOUTH GENERATIONS: A CASE STUDY IN ISTANBUL AND GAZIANTEP

Abstract

Author(s): Neriman AIKALIN

The most important effect of poverty is using children as a labor force and this makes poverty as a starting point of reproduce poverty for next generation in advance, which maintains the vicious circle of it. This fact also produces loser individuals who will be unskilled workers can not find a proper jobs in labor force market even from the starting point on the one hand, those individuals will be deprived of education and healthy socialization and personality development process in addition to subjecting emotional and psychical exploitation because of the necessary conditions on the other. Furthermore, the children are also neglected by laws and thus, they are forced to work in any heavy conditions as potential labor force. To the extent, the structural adjustment politics of neoliberalism has been started to adapt after 1980s have accelerated the above poverty process and created a new urban poor who become unprotected and weak as regard to social rights, wages and working conditions determined by this socalled flexible economy. In this process, those unskilled workers already work in informal sector without having an upward social mobility, which results disadvantaged positions. This study further emphasizes that this process creates a possible downward social mobility for a youth generation who will stay as unskilled and poor labor force. This study aims at exploring this poverty process with a special focus on demographic features, migration history, working conditions, the conditions of woman and children in family and working relations, consumption patterns, social values and the expectations of future of 200 households’ individuals who are analyzed by a survey, deep interviews and focus groups in stanbul and Gaziantep. Besides, the other survey with 31 youths between 6-34 ages has been carried out to observe the problems of youth generation in terms of their social mobility opportunities.

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