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Youth Integration and Social Capital: An Analysis of the Canadian General Social Surveys on Time Use

NCJ Number
Youth & Society Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: December 2003 Pages: 158-182
Zenaida R. Ravanera; Fernando Rajulton; Pierre Turcotte
Kathryn G. Herr
Date Published
December 2003
25 pages
This article examines the integration of the youth into society, their involvement in work and education, participation in organization activities or volunteering, and their sense of belonging to their community through an analysis of data on the allocation of their time into various activities.
Integration is social cohesion measured at the individual level. Youth integration into society is an outcome of investments at various levels. To bring out the complexities and factors influencing youth integration, this study explored three dimensions of integration of youth into society: an economic (inclusion), a political (participation), and a sociocultural (sense of belonging) dimension. This study used the General Social Surveys on Time Use conducted by Statistics Canada in 1986, 1992, and 1998 with samples representative of the population ages 15 and higher and residing in Canada. The study examined youths’ involvement in work and education, participation in organization activities or volunteering, and sense of belonging to their community. Results highlight the changes in youth integration over the period from 1986 to 1998. Results are presented on the general trend of integration and effects of individual and family level variables and on the effects of community-level variables. The study demonstrates the multidimensionality of the concept of integration. The young may be integrated into society through economic inclusion or through participation in organizations which are highly influenced by individual and family level variables. A well-rounded integration calls not only for individual efforts at accumulating human capital but for the building of communities rich in social capital and conducive to developing a sense of belonging among the youth. References