Escaping Youth: Construction of Age by Two Cohorts of Chronologically Young Russian Women
The contemporary sociological debate highlights that youth is a category of age, but actual chronological youth is hardly viewed as a space of age production. Transition studies exclude youth as a stage of age identity production, while age studies do not problematize young people's experience. This article focuses on age construction by two groups of chronologically young women. The analysis of forty qualitative interviews with fifteen- to twenty-year-old girls and thirty- to thirty-five-year-old women from Saint Petersburg shows that the concept of youth is slipping away from the biographical narratives of the informants from both age groups. Subjective adulthood experienced by young women is a goal and a value, while a young body does not prove to be a significant and available resource. At the same time, adulthood is not constructed as a set of clearly defined social characteristics but as an identity, a subjective experience, embodied adult personhood.