Another ‘Missing Middle’? The Marginalised Majority of Tertiary Educated Youth in Portugal during the economic crisis

David Cairns , Katarzyna Growiec , Nuno de Almeida


This article explores the present and imagined future impact of the Portuguese economic crisis among tertiary-educated youth in Lisbon. The results of a quantitative survey and follow-up interviews illustrate that this impact is widespread and multifaceted, ranging from a perceived devaluation of educational credentials and a loss of faith in the local job market to feeling unable to contemplate having a family of one’s own. This evidence suggests that diminished future expectations are prevalent among tertiary-educated Portuguese youth, a situation that has to date attracted surprisingly little attention in terms of research or policy responses. This finding leads us to conclude that we may be witnessing a Portuguese ‘missing middle’ phenomenon, demonstrating a form of youth disadvantage different to that traditionally experienced in countries such as the UK. 
Author David Cairns
David Cairns,,
, Katarzyna Growiec (Wydział Psychologii)
Katarzyna Growiec,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Nuno de Almeida
Nuno de Almeida,,
Journal seriesJournal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2014
Keywords in EnglishPortugal, Lisbon, missing middle, tertiary-educated youth, economic crisis, austerity
ASJC Classification3319 Life-span and Life-course Studies; 3300 General Social Sciences; 3312 Sociology and Political Science
Languageen angielski
Journal-of-Youth-Studies-2014-first-page.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Score (nominal)35
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2014 = 1.031; WoS Impact Factor: 2014 = 0.805 (2) - 2014=1.14 (5)
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