Logo des Projekts

Project “Pathways to the Future”

A longitudinal study on the social integration of young people in Vienna


The share of school students from non-privileged social backgrounds at Austrian so-called new secondary schools (Neue Mittelschule, NMS) is very high. Therefore, considerations regarding the social vulnerability of marginalised groups and the relationship between the social status and opportunities for social participation and shaping a person’s individual future form the theoretical basis for the research project Pathways to the Future.

This approach is complemented by the theoretical and conceptual recognition of the young people’s ability to act (agency) as creative social actors. From the perspective of cultural sociology, the study examines microprocesses of symbolic acquisition in interspaces and times of transition that are institutionally weakly structured. Furthermore, it focuses on traditional and post-traditional forms of affiliation and association with a community. While taking into account the entire life-course, the focus is on the de-standardisation of the period of adolescence and the diverse transitions that require young people to take an active role. In addition to subjective strategies for coping with these challenges over time, the project mainly focuses on critical moments in which a series of trendsetting biographic events occur.