It is widely perceived that contemporary society is changing fast and that the interpretative categories, practices and words that we have inherited from the past are now inadequate to account for everyday experience. A series of transformations – concerning work opportunities, intercultural encounters, gender relationships, migration processes, awareness of environmental threats, and ICT technology, to name some of the most important ones – are subjecting taken-for-granted routines and habits to great stress. Such changes are inducing a search for new ideas, concepts and activities that fit the new and fast-changing contexts better.

In this book we consider observation of the practices and experiences of young people facing the challenges of a globalised society, the uncertainty of the future, the continuous transformations of the job market and the growing presence of cultural diversity, as yielding important insights into how the overall society is transforming. It is from the specific standpoint of a ‘generational gaze’ that this book analyses, in situated European contexts, the locations of agency as politics of the present.