ERIC Number: EJ953474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 16
"Getting on" Rather than "Getting by": Ethnicity, Class and "Success against the Odds"
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v33 n1 p153-163 2012
The disturbances that took place across English towns and cities in 2011 raised significant debate and discussion about their causes and the motivations of the "rioters". Media and official explanations citing criminality and opportunism, repeated the now familiar narratives of cultural deficit, blaming absent fathers, poor parenting and a lack of responsibility and aspiration. Prime Minister David Cameron announced the "moral collapse" of a society in which "children without fathers, schools without discipline and reward without effort" were to blame for the disturbances. Socio-political explanations, on the other hand, emphasised structural inequalities and/or rampant consumerism brought about by a "feral" capitalism. This article presents a review of three books that were written before the "riots" but each takes up themes that are pertinent to the discussion of their aftermath. All three books, in different ways and from different perspectives, offer statements on patterns and systems of opportunity and constraint/inequality and the individual and collective capacity of people to deal with these. Each book presents its own version of "success against the odds" and will significantly add to the sociological literature on ethnicity and education. Researched and written towards the end of New Labour's third term in office, the books also offer a timely opportunity to reflect on recent government policies emphasising "aspiration", "equality of opportunity" and social mobility.
Descriptors: Ethnicity, Aspiration, Social Mobility, Social Discrimination, Social Indicators, Social Problems, Social Justice, Activism, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Content, Educational Opportunities, Disadvantaged, Mothers, Social Attitudes, Social Class, Resilience (Psychology), Educational Sociology, Social Distance, Ethnocentrism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom