Social networks and access to employment among youths: questioning the meritocracy discourse

This paper analyzes the professional insertion trajectory of graduation and post-graduation students. It traces the ways followed by youths to have access to employment and associates them to social networks. The discourse in vogue, which mainly comes from human resources consultation agencies, stresses qualification as an antidote against unemployment. This study is based on an analysis of the data obtained to elaborate a PhD thesis, whose results point out three predominant ways to have access to employment: "family", "friends" and "civil service exams". Thus, the guaranty of employment stability represented by the admission in civil services and particularistic ways stand out, which contradicts the discourse on the excellence of competitiveness as a determinant factor to conquer and keep an employment.

Youths; Graduates; Professional insertion; Social networks; Employment

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