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ERIC Number: EJ799183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
The Prevalence of "Life Planning:" Evidence from UK Graduates
Brooks, Rachel; Everett, Glyn
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v29 n3 p325-337 May 2008
At a time when "personal development planning" is being rolled out across the UK higher education sector, this paper explores young adults' inclinations to plan for the future in relation to work, relationships and other aspects of life. Although Giddens has emphasised the prevalence of strategic life planning (or the "colonisation of the future") in all strata of contemporary society, du Bois Reymond has argued that there are important differences by social class, with young people from more privileged backgrounds more likely than their peers to engage in such life-planning activities. This paper draws on interviews with 90 young adults (in their mid-20s) to question some of these assumptions about relationships between social location and propensity to plan for the future. It shows how, within this sample at least, there was a strong association between having had a privileged "learning career" (such as attending a high-status university and identifying as an "academic high flier") and a "disinclination" to form detailed plans for the future. In part, this appeared to be related to a strong sense of ontological security and the confidence to resist what Giddens terms "an increasingly dominant temporal outlook." (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom