chapter  8
8 Pages


On a structural level, the experiences of young people graduating from IVET

colleges in Ul‟ianovsk were fundamentally different from those of their counterparts in many Western countries. In the context of deindustrialization and the

emergence of globalized, flexible labour markets, the „mass‟ transitions characteristic of Western societies during the post-war period have all but disappeared,

as low-skilled industrial labour has been replaced by hyphenated and feminized

forms of servicing work. In Russia, by contrast, deindustrialization has taken a

somewhat different form, and has affected the jobs available to young people at

the bottom end of the labour market in different ways. Rather than the gradual

processes of disaggregation and disorganization evident in Western economies

(Lash and Urry 1987), transformations in Russia have been more disintegrative,

such that the school-to-factory transition described here is a product of the ways

in which organizations at a number of levels – industrial and agricultural enterprises and IVET colleges – have coped with economic and institutional dislocation. As a result, the IVET sector and its partners in the labour market operate

what Beck (2002: 203-7) might refer to as a „zombie‟ system; a form of organization designed for Russia‟s first modernity which stumbles awkwardly into its second, not realizing the gulf between its own reality and that of its new sur-

roundings. The aim of this book has been to examine the ways in which young

people negotiate and experience the „virtual transitions‟ fostered by this system, and the wider transition to adulthood.