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Can 100 Canadian songs explain youth employment perceptions and trends?

Posted by Media Centre on July 6, 2017 in Health

Despite having more opportunities for education than any other generation, today’s young people are facing disproportionate rates of unemployment and ongoing underemployment. With a rapidly changing world of work that includes disruptions and job losses, they are faced with answering a tough question: what will you do now?

In order to learn more about the future of work for young people, Dalhousie researcher Lynn Shaw, an Assistant Dean in the University’s Faculty of Health, has studied how we talk about work in songs. She studied 100 Canadian songs from the 1800s-2014 that mention this topic as a means of studying societal thoughts around this issue at that time. In particular, she studied how these songs depict ideas about work in Canada that might be used to support youth transitions into employment.

Dr. Shaw's findings can help provide insight on why youth underemployment is a concern for our society and how we can prevent work disparity. The specific songs she studied also provide perspective on work mobility in Canada.

Dr. Shaw's Study "Past meanings and future horizons of work mobility: Implications for Canadians and occupational science," was recently published in the Journal of Occupational Science.



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