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ERIC Number: ED511416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 184
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-8585-6465-4
Aspiration, Identity and Self Belief: Snapshots of Social Structure at Work
Riddell, Richard, Ed.
Trentham Books Ltd
This book presents the evidence gathered from original interviews to show how the aspirations of young people develop in light of their social circumstances. Those who attend independent schools will find that the relationship between what goes on at home and at school makes it socially almost impossible not to have achievable aspirations for a place at a prestigious university. For their peers in working class contexts, such aspirations will be far more fragile. While there is much to welcome in major national programmes such as AimHigher and those for the Gifted and Talented, the long term result will be merely a newly ennobled stream of working class students, who will require personal qualities which their independent school counterparts will not need or even dream of. Such initiatives will help foster social mobility but they will not transform opportunities more widely and for disengaged students, the risks may be grim. The book discusses a broad range of national policy initiatives, inspired by a renewed emphasis on social mobility and these too will increase the potential for more people to acquire the "better jobs" aimed for by the government. In a generation's time, the people at the heights of the polity and economy of the UK may begin to come from a more representative range of backgrounds. Achieving this requires huge effort and engagement at all levels, however, and a commitment from central government to use the power of the state to influence hitherto independent institutions. "Aspiration, Identity and Self-Belief" is for teachers, students, academics, researchers and informed general readers who are interested in social justice and the hidden difficulties of achieving equalities of outcome from our schools. Contents include eight chapters: (1) How things in the UK stay the way they are; (2) What the parents said: parenting, children's ambitions and the resources they draw on; (3) The schools' view of things; (4) The other contexts of young people's lives: the formation of aspiration as part of identity; (5) Those not born to rule: "aspirant" working class students and higher education; (6) Getting in to the right university: what it is to be bright; (7) The aspirations of "other" young people: snapshots of the "disengaged"; and (8) Social Justice and the State
Trentham Books Ltd. Westview House 734 London Road, Oakhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 5NP, UK. Tel: +44-1782-745567; Tel: +44-1782-844699; Fax: +44-1782-745553; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Students; Teachers; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom