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'Of course we do': inequality, the family and the spell of social mobility

Gideon Calder Orcid Logo

Soundings: a journal of politics and culture, Issue: 64, Pages: 117 - 127

Swansea University Author: Gideon Calder Orcid Logo

Abstract

Social mobility has been announced as a goal by most recent incoming prime ministers, including Theresa May, whose espousal of grammar schools is supposed to promote mobility. Social immobility – sometimes known as ‘class fate’ – is indeed a problem, but nothing will change until there is a recognit...

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Published in: Soundings: a journal of politics and culture
ISSN: 1362 6620
Published: 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa32883
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Abstract: Social mobility has been announced as a goal by most recent incoming prime ministers, including Theresa May, whose espousal of grammar schools is supposed to promote mobility. Social immobility – sometimes known as ‘class fate’ – is indeed a problem, but nothing will change until there is a recognition that inequality of outcome is a problem in itself, and that tackling intergenerational inequality means doing something about the handing on of family privilege. Current orthodoxies – common sense – about equality and the family are a hindrance to this recognition. Particularly through education, those in a position to give advantages to their children will almost always do so, and this reproduces privilege across the generations. Given unequal life chances and an unequal society, privilege and power will continue to flow through the family and into the next generation.
Keywords: inequality; social mobility; class; class fate; grammar schools; family; privilege; education; common sense
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue: 64
Start Page: 117
End Page: 127