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ERIC Number: EJ995420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0007-1005
Skills Inequality, Adult Learning and Social Cohesion in the United Kingdom
Janmaat, Jan Germen; Green, Andy
British Journal of Educational Studies, v61 n1 p7-24 2013
In this article we argue that the legitimacy and stability of the social and political order in Britain is undermined by persistent inequalities of skills and opportunities. We first contend that British society is characterised by a liberal regime of social cohesion. Crucial to such a regime is the belief in individual opportunity and rewards based on merit. We demonstrate, through comparative analysis, that skills inequality is actually higher and social mobility lower in Britain than in other western countries. Also the perception of equal opportunities is lower. In Britain there is thus a mismatch between the cherished ideal of meritocracy and the reality of a stratified society, both objectively and perceived. This, we postulate, is likely to contribute to the political alienation of disadvantaged groups. We argue that in theory adult learning could reduce the skills gap but that in reality it only magnifies skills inequality since in Britain the well educated and people in work have higher participation rates than the poorly educated and unemployed. (Contains 2 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom