Tracing the Criminal

Boundless Youth:
Studies in the Transition to Adulthood

By Olivier Galland

Translated by Toby Matthews and Peter Hamilton
with a foreword by Bryan S. Turner

May 2007, £60.00, hardback, 192 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-9548683-7-6

Gemas Studies in Social Analysis
Series Editors: Mohamed Cherkaoui, Peter Hamilton & Bryan S. Turner


In Boundless Youth, his first major publication in English, Olivier Galland argues forcefully for the continued relevance of a distinctive age group we can call “youth” despite its changing and increasingly diffuse character. In doing so he challenges both the Parsonian conception of the age group and also the Bourdieusian rejection of “youth” as a distinctive social category.
Based on extensive quantitative research and concentrating on the French experience, Galland shows how the transition from childhood to adulthood has been transformed in recent years in particular. In two detailed case studies he looks at verbal exchanges between generations, between parents and their children, and also at the impacts of the stigmatisation of appearance on young people. This leads Galland to conclude that young people’s differing social backgrounds and levels of education have substantial impacts on their transitions to adulthood and these differences are more important to study than any intergenerational divide that may previously have seemed more significant.

Foreword by Bryan S. Turner
Social Classes “à la française”
The French Educational System
Introduction (Download pdf)

Chapter 1 - Definitions of “Youth”
Chapter 2 - Becoming Adult
Chapter 3 - Being Young (1): Exchanges Between Parents and Children
Chapter 4 - Being Young (2): Young People and the Stigmatisation of Appearance


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