AN ANALYSIS OF ‘(PRE)PARADOS’, ‘MILEURISTA’, ‘NI-NI’ AS USED TO DESCRIBE THE YOUNG UNEMPLOYED IN SPAIN
Abstract:The desire for university education after years of dictatorship reached unprecedented heights in Spain as education appeared to ensure a secure future, especially for the generation born after the dictator years. As a member of the European Union, Spain experienced rapid infrastructural development and economic growth which necessitated the employment of qualified graduate labour. However, the economic collapse of 2014 made the labour force trained during the period of economic boom overqualified for the few, menial jobs available. As a result, there emerged economic and social conditions in Spain which made this affected group appear to have been ‘prepared’ for unemployment. In the course of time the expressions, (Pre)parados, mileurista, ni-ni used to describe this group found their way into everyday Spanish lexicon. This paper adopts two methods in the examination of these coinages. The first is a morpho-semantic analysis, while in the second, the theory of labelling and stigma is applied to highlight the psychological state of the young unemployed Spaniard. The findings reveal that labelling and stigmatisation of a group may come from the stigmatised group itself and may not necessarily be perceived as discriminatory when it also finds a general acceptance in society. The paper suggests that vocational education should be a substantial part of university education in a world of unpredictable economic dynamics.