Paid and voluntary employment of Hungarian youth in the light of cultural, financial and social capital

Hajnalka Fényes - Márta Mohácsi



The goal of our study is to examine the correlation of the socio-economic background and paid verus voluntary work in youth. The social background of young people was operationalized with the three types of capital following Bourdieu, and the cultural resources of young people were measured by the educational level of the interviewee and his parents, as well as by an index formed from the consumption of high culture by young people. We also examined the differences in the demographic background according to the gender and age of the interviewee. Following Markos, we hypothesized that the socio-economic background of volunteers is favourable, while those from a less affluent background are forced to seek a paid position. Furthermore, the higher cultur-consumption of young people is a driving force for both forms of work. Based on Kocsis, we also examine whether the parents of the youth who work in paid positions in this sample only have a lower institutionalized cultural capital, or whether their financial background is also less favorable. According to the international and domestic literature, more and more young people are employed in paid positions while attending school, and the proportion of volunteer work is also increasing in the Central and Eastern European region. Our secondary data analysis was based on the Hungarian Youth Survey 2020, where young Hungarians, aged 15-29, made up the representative sample of 2,000 people. According to our logistic regression results, paid work alongside the studies was more often done by older and male students, and voluntary work by younger and female students. In terms of cultural capital, graduates and university students perform both types of work in greater proportion, and paid work is more typical of the children of non-graduate fathers, while voluntary work is not affected by the education of the parents. In accordance with our hypothesis, one's own culture-consumption increases the chance of undertaking both types of work, to a small extent. Our further results show that paid employment was more common among rural residents and voluntary employment was more common among urban residents. In terms of financial capital, the chance of paid work is higher if the young person lives separate from their parents, and the chance of voluntary work is higher if the subject's family's financial situation is more favourable. Overall, our results can help employers who offer student employment and organizations who employ volunteers to better identify their potential target groups.

Keywords: young people, Hungary, voluntary work, paid work while studying, socio-demographic background, quantitative analysis