Policy Press

Publishing with a Purpose

The class ceiling

Why it pays to be privileged

Published

28 Jan 2019

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1447336068

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
£19.99 £15.99You save £4.00 (20%) Pre-order

Published

28 Jan 2019

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1447336082

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
£7.99 £6.40You save £1.59 (20%)
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  • Published

    28 Jan 2019

    Page count

    224 pages

    ISBN

    978-1447336099

    Dimensions

    216 x 138 mm

    Imprint

    Policy Press
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    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 175 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 and a Commissioner at the Social Mobility Commission. 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 is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sociology and tweets as @Daniel_Laurison

    Introduction

    Getting in

    Getting on

    Untangling the class pay gap

    Inside elite firms

    The bank of Mum and Dad

    A helping hand

    Fitting in

    View from the top

    Self-elimination

    Class ceilings: A new approach to social mobility

    Conclusion

    Epilogue: 10 ways to break the class ceiling

    "This compelling book offers a fresh approach to understanding how social class matters. Easy to read, Highly recommended!" Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania

    "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

    "This stunning book provides a panoramic overview of class inequality in the UK labour market with a forensic scrutiny of the ways in which privilege works to keep the class ceiling firmly in place." Diane Reay, University of Cambridge

    "Without question this is the outstanding study of social mobility in the UK to have appeared in the past 20 years. Using a brilliant mixed method design, Friedman & Laurison trace the long shadow of class privilege in driving career prospects even in the supposedly dynamic sectors of today’s knowledge economy. Anyone who thinks Britain is a meritocracy needs to ponder the lessons of this wonderful book." Mike Savage, LSE

    “Friedman and Laurison show how it can possibly be that upwardly mobile executives and professionals earn less than those raised in the upper classes. Everybody in The Class Ceiling has a desirable job, but even in the upper reaches of British society, class roots matter.” Mike Hout, New York University