Social Mobility Matters

Social mobility, or more importantly the obstacles to it, was the subject our May talk. 

The speaker was Benny Goodman of Plymouth University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, who gave a passionate and lively account of the current state if affairs.  “Baby Boomers” benefited greatly from social mobility, but for the current generation things are much more difficult.  The expansion of graduate employment has dried up, and there are now more people with degrees than jobs that require them.  Prospects of advancement also depend greatly on where you live, those living in the South West being particularly disadvantaged.  Although some still move up in social class, many others stay where they are or even drop. Gender also has a role to play, with there being noticeable differences in the types of employment men and women are in.  Benny left us to question some fundament points, such as what does ‘success’ look like and why is social mobility important at all, topics which were followed up in the Q&A. Below are some links he provided.

Aldridge, M. (2001) Social mobility: a discussion paper . London, Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit. http://kumlai.free.fr/RESEARCH/THESE/TEXTE/MOBILITY/mobility%20salariale/SOCIAL%20MOBILITY.pdf

Payne G (2017) Musical Chairs and the Social Mobility Industry. https://discoversociety.org/2017/06/06/viewpoint-musical-chairs-and-the-social-mobility-industry/

Payne G (2017) The New Social Mobility: How Politicians got it wrong. Policy Press. Bristol

Social Mobility Commission in Great Britain: fifth state of the nation report. 2017. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/social-mobility-in-great-britain-fifth-state-of-the-nation-report

The Lottery of Birth. OpenLearn.  http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=21379&section=2.8

Kirby, P (2016) Leading people: The educational backgrounds of the UK professional Elite The Sutton Trust. https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Leading-People_Feb16.pdf