The study of education and social mobility has been a key area of sociological research since the 1950s. The importance of this research derives from the systematic analysis of functionalist theories of industrialism. Functionalist theories assume that the complementary demands of efficiency and justice result in more ‘meritocratic’ societies, characterized by high rates of social mobility. Much of the sociological evidence has cast doubt on this optimistic, if not utopian, claim that reform of the education system could eliminate the influence of class, gender and ethnicity on academic performance and occupational destinations.
This book brings together sixteen cutting-edge articles on education and social mobility. It also includes an introductory essay offering a guide to the main issues and controversies addressed by authors from several countries. This comprehensive volume makes an important contribution to our theoretical and empirical understanding of the changing relationship between origins, education and destinations. This timely collection is also relevant to policy-makers as education and social mobility are firmly back on both national and global political agendas, viewed as key to creating fairer societies and more competitive economies.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the British Journal of Sociology of Education.
1. Education and social mobility Phillip Brown, Diane Reay and Carol Vincent
2. Reflections on education and social mobility A.H. Halsey
3. Social mobility, a panacea for austere times: tales of emperors, frogs, and tadpoles Diane Reay
4. Education, opportunity and the prospects for social mobility Phillip Brown
5. ‘Class work’: producing privilege and social mobility in elite US secondary schools Lois Weis and Kristin Cipollone
6. Higher education, social class and the mobilisation of capitals: recognising and playing the game Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Nicola Ingram and Richard Waller
7. Social mobility and post-compulsory education: revisiting Boudon’s model of social opportunity Ron Thompson and Robin Simmons
8. The changing relationship between origins, education and destinations in the 1990s and 2000s Fiona Devine and Yaojun Li
9. Framing higher education: questions and responses in the British Social Attitudes survey, 1983–2010 Anna Mountford-Zimdars, Steven Jones, Alice Sullivan and Anthony Heath
10. Interrupted trajectories: the impact of academic failure on the social mobility of working-class students Tina Byrom and Nic Lightfoot
11. Rural students’ experiences in a Chinese elite university: capital, habitus and practices He Li
12. Cultural capital and distinction: aspirations of the ‘other’ foreign student I Lin Sin
13. Meritocracy and the Gaokao: a survey study of higher education selection and socio-economic participation in East China Ye Liu
14. Educational expansion and field of study: trends in the intergenerational transmission of educational inequality in the Netherlands Gerbert Kraaykamp, Jochem Tolsma and Maarten H.J. Wolbers
15. The role of the school curriculum in social mobility Cristina Iannelli
16. Three generations of racism: Black middle-class children and schooling Carol Vincent, Stephen Ball, Nicola Rollock and David Gillborn
17. Resettling notions of social mobility: locating refugees as ‘educable’ and ‘employable’ Jill Koyama