Transitions on hold?
Edited by Ewa Krzaklewska, Howard Williamson, Amy Stapleton, Frank Tillmann
ISBN 978-92-871-9341-4 (PDF) © Council of Europe and European Commission, October 2023; Printed at the Council of Europe
In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic struck Europe with a vengeance. All sections of the population were rapidly affected by the efforts made to limit the deadly impact of the coronavirus: lockdowns and other restrictions on personal movement, the closure of public spaces and limits to association. Young people were perhaps the least at risk in terms of illness and mortality. In other respects, they were disproportionately affected, on account of the closure of educational institutions, the collapse of recruitment to the labour market and the range of challenges surrounding the places and spaces where they lived, whether “at home” or elsewhere.
Covid-19 regulations lasted for well over two years and their consequences linger on or persist. The experience of the pandemic affected young people in many ways. This book provides a range of accounts of those experiences, among different sectors of the youth population, in different parts of Europe and among those who sought to provide young people with support. It draws perspectives from pre-existing research projects that were sustained through the pandemic, spontaneous research inquiries and reflective case studies from practitioners in the field.
This volume of the Youth Knowledge Book series presents a contemporaneous account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic period on young people. It broadly confirms the resulting exacerbation of the inequalities affecting young people in different and cross-sectional ways, as their lives and aspirations were disrupted and put on hold. But it is by no means completely bad news. Young people also displayed creativity, resilience and sometimes resistance during the pandemic, as did some professionals responsible for supporting them. From this diversity of understanding about responses to one crisis, there are important lessons and ideas for youth policy and how it may respond better to similar crises in the future.