Politicians continually tell us that anyone can get ahead. But is that really true? This important book takes readers behind the closed doors of elite employers to reveal how class affects who gets to the top.
Friedman and Laurison show that a powerful ‘class pay gap’ exists in Britain’s elite occupations. Even when those from working-class backgrounds make it into prestigious jobs, they earn, on average, 16% less than colleagues from privileged backgrounds. But why is this the case? . Drawing on 200 interviews across four case studies - television, accountancy, architecture, and acting – they explore the complex barriers facing the upwardly mobile.
This is a rich, ambitious book that demands we take seriously not just the glass but also the class ceiling.
Sam Friedman is Associate Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics. He has published widely on social class, social mobility and elites. He is the author of Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour (Routledge 2014) and the co-author of Social Class in the 21st Century (Penguin, 2015). He tweets as @SamFriedmanSoc
Daniel Laurison is Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College, USA. Previously he was at the London School of Economics & Political Science. He tweets as @Daniel_Laurison
Getting on - The class pay gap
Untangling the class pay gap
Inside elite firms
The bank of Mum and Dad
A helping hand
View from the top
Class ceilings: A new approach to social mobility
Epilogue: 10 ways to break the class ceiling
"A well-conceived and important study which makes a significant contribution to knowledge about social mobility, and an important intervention into broader political debates"
Selina Todd, University of Oxford