Neither studying nor working: free time as a solution?

Sara Moreno-Colom*, Albert Trinidad, Núria Alcaraz, Vicent Borràs Català

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article analyses the importance of free-time activities in building the identity of Spanish young people who neither study nor work. The initial point is that the situation of unemployment, inactivity and precarious work that affects many young people leads to changes in the construction of their identity. Low employment and job insecurity accentuate the loss of centrality of paid work in their life project, and the use of free time reflects the traits that identify them in a specific context. The relationship between free time and training and/or working time was therefore investigated using a qualitative methodological strategy to analyse the structure, meaning and content of free time according to young people’s situation in relation to education and employment, their gender and their region of residence. The results suggest that the symbolic centrality of working time persists alongside changes in the meaning and content of free time.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Free time
  • identity
  • training
  • work
  • youth


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