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Description - Education and Social Mobility by Phillip Brown

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781138119574
ISBN-10: 1138119571
Format: Hardback
(246mm x 174mm x mm)
Pages: 340
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 7-Dec-2015
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Phillip Brown

Phillip Brown is Distinguished Research Professor in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW). He is a leading sociologist in the field of education, work and the global labour market. Since the late 1990s he has been studying economic globalisation and the new division of labour including path-breaking comparative studies that fundamentally challenged Western policy debates around skill formation, social justice and the knowledge economy. He also has a longstanding interest in graduate employability, social mobility and the sociology of talent. Diane Reay grew up in a working class, coal mining community before becoming an inner city primary school teacher for 20 years. She is now Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK, with particular interests in social justice issues in education, Pierre Bourdieu's social theory, and cultural analyses of social class. She has researched extensively in the areas of social class, gender and ethnicity across primary, secondary and post-compulsory stages of education. Her most recent book (with Gill Crozier and David James) is White Middle Class Identities and Urban Schooling (2011). She is currently writing a book on Education and the Working Classes in the 21st Century. As well as being an executive editor of British Journal of Sociology of Education, she is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Education Policy and Cultural Sociology. Carol Vincent is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University College London, UK. She has written and researched extensively on families' relationships with educational institutions, and, in particular, how these are shaped by race and class. She co-authored The Colour of Class (2015) which explores the educational strategies of the Black Caribbean-origin middle classes. Other research interests include parenting, especially mothering, education policy, and 'super-diversity'. Her current ESRC project focuses on 'Children and Adults' Friendships across Social Class and Ethnic Difference'.

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