Our team and Partners

Project Coordinator - Dr. Marge Unt

As a kid, I never wanted to grow up. To me, the grown-up world was not something to look for. What is this "work" they always claim to have? Why do they refuse to run around in fields and find shapes in clouds? And why do adults assume that they know it all and are still so stressed? Now, I have made this transition and have entered the world of my own family and work. However, I am still deeply interested in how youth experience becoming an adult in different contexts.


Project Co-coordinator - Prof. Dr. Michael Gebel

When I grew up, Germany experienced serious mass unemployment and was called the “sick man of Europe”. I saw friends suffering from unemployment and insecure jobs. But there were also success stories of friends coping with such a situation and also escaping from it. Nowadays, after a period of policy reforms, the situation is better in Germany but there are still many problems. These observations raised my interest in understanding how youths avoid getting into trouble and which policies help.



Get to know all researchers that are engaged in the project. Read the personal story of each researcher by clicking on her/his picture.

Antonella Meo

Antonella Meo

Position: Associate Professor in Sociology

Field of study: Sociology

Research topics: Social vulnerability, trajectories of impoverishment, social exclusion dynamics, qualitative methods.

Intrigued by some homeless people who I frequently saw at the station when I took the train to Trento, home of my PhD in Sociology, I decided to carry out an ethnography of the homeless.

It was my first research experience: it showed how poverty can depress what Sen calls individual functionings and capabilities, undermining the sense of continuity and personal identity and challenging social inclusion. The multidimensional and dynamic character of poverty emerged.

Since then I have carried out research mainly on poverty, on risks and trajectories of impoverishment, meeting, from time to time, many different people: immigrants, women in male breadwinner households, unemployed men with family responsibilities, older Fiat manual and unskilled workers going through periods of Cassa Integrazione (temporary paid layoff), focusing on their deprivation and coping strategies. 

Moving from the analysis of extreme poverty of people living on the road to the experiences of vulnerability of the so-called “insiders”, I developed an interest in exploring relationships between work and social inclusion, in order to understand better the contemporary social risks related to job precariousness. From this perspective, young people deserve particular attention.


Advisory board:

Hans-Peter Blossfeld
Caroline Dewilde
Duncan Gallie
Massimiliano Mascherini
Jale Tosun
Gianfranco Bordone
Laura Orestano
Franco Chiaramonte
Luca Chiapella
Vanessa Di Paola
Virginie Mora
Ruth Santos-Brien
Rita Bergstein

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