Children and young people’s work is the focus of a well-developed, global and transdisciplinary body of scholarship, but there is little Canadian research in this area, especially on young people’s perspectives on employment. We are addressing this gap through qualitative research about Canadian youth’s first or early paid employment experiences. Based on interviews with young people in three Canadian cities, this paper will focus on the strong moral framing of work experiences, as participants shared an idealized work ethic, and described themselves as gaining skills, freedom, maturity and/or responsibility through their work. We also critically assess how moral discourses about work may contribute to the development of an uncritical neoliberal sense of self in ways that may affect young people’s ability to resist unsafe and exploitative work practices.
This paper will be presented at the following session:
- Canadian scholarship in childhood and youth studies: Young People's Views and Voice
Tuesday May 30 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm