The article analyzes the constructions and uses of the NEET category (young people Not in Education, Employment or Training), in order to identify guidelines for its application to the social investigation and the development of policies to limit this phenomenon. Since its first appearance, in fact, this category has often been used in an inaccurate way in public debate and scientific research, limiting awareness about the involved population. For this reason, attention is placed, on the one hand, on the defining elements, critical issues and descriptive power of the category with reference to the study of youth conditions, and on the other on factors able to differentiate the characteristics of NEETs’ experiences. In conclusion, the article suggests that policy interventions must be supported by detailed information about the dimension, composition and social conditions of this specific population.
Keywords: NEET; Youth Condition; School-to-Work Transition; Unemployment; Precarity