Education and Social Mobility

Dreams of Success

September 2014
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    5th September 2014
  • ISBN 9781858566139
  • Language English
  • Pages 190 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"
  • Images figures & tables

Education and Social Mobility examines Government plans to improve upward mobility in England and considers the chances of success in the light of qualitative interviews with 88 school students. The 15- to 19-year-olds in two state secondary schools were invited to reflect on their lives, education and dreams of the future. Their responses offer fascinating insights into young people’s aspirations, choices and decisions, and suggest that governments consistently underestimate the resistances to mobility that are embedded in social and occupational structures.

This original school-based research is combined with lively analysis of the concepts and issues entailed in understanding social mobility and change. It is essential reading for policy makers and everyone who is interested in the extent to which education can change and improve society. It presents discomfiting data and theoretical insights for academics and practitioners, and is an authoritative guide for undergraduate and post-graduate students following courses which deal with youth identities, education studies and social justice. The book raises fundamental doubts about current policy and proposes a constructive alternative for all our children.

"This book provides a powerful analysis of social mobility and the role of education in closing the gap. Young people's rich narratives of their educational experiences, and their dreams and aspirations, vividly unfold in a series of accounts that are beautifully crafted to reveal a sociological imagination missing in mainstream social mobility research. We are made aware of the emptiness of government and policy rhetoric, and the importance of family, communities, and wider socio-economic influences in understandings of social mobility. Education and Social Mobility vividly illustrates the ways in which social mobility works, or, in far too many cases, does not work for young people. Its compelling and authoritative account should be read by practitioners, policy makers and parents."

Diane Reay, Professor - , University of Cambridge

1. Introduction;
2. Policy-makers, Education and Social Mobility
3. Schools and Achievement
4. Families and Children
5. Aspirations
6. Choosing the Future
7. Conclusion

Kate Hoskins

Kate Hoskins is Senior Lecturer in Education at Roehampton University. Her research draws on the sociology of education and education policy, with a focus on social class, gender and ethnicity.

Bernard Barker

Bernard Barker is Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership and Management, School of Education, University of Leicester. He headed comprehensive community colleges in Cambridgeshire and Leicester for 19 years and is the author of the acclaimed Transforming Schools – Illusion or Reality?