Despite becoming a big issue in public debate, social mobility is one of the most misunderstood processes of our time. In this accessible and engaging text, Geoff Payne, one of Britain’s leading mobility analysts, presents up-to-date sociological research evidence to demonstrate how our politicians have not grasped the ways in which mobility works. The new social mobility argues for considering a wider range of dimensions of mobility and life chances, notably the workings of the labour market, to assess more accurately the causes and consequences of mobility as social and political processes. Bringing together a range of literature and research, it covers key themes of mobility analysis, and offers a critical and original approach to social mobility. This important book will challenge the well-established opinions of politicians, pressure groups, the press, academics and the public; it is also sufficiently comprehensive to be suitable for teaching and of interest to a broad academic audience.
"Punctures the technocratic myth of UK academics and politicians working together, identifying instead a troubling disconnect between what’s known about mobility and what’s done in the name of increasing it. An object lesson in late-industrial policymaking." David G. Grusky, Stanford University
"A valuable navigation tool of thought for the exploration of mobility" - Sociological Research Online
"Every public figure protests they are all for social mobility - but few have any idea what it means. Here's the definitive analysis they need to read: equal opportunity means we must live more equal lives." Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
"A lively, intelligent, and well-informed discussion of the meaning, extent, and significance of social mobility in Britain. Written for both specialists and policymakers, it will be an essential source of reference for decades to come." John Scott, University of Essex
Professor Geoff Payne, FAcSS, is based at Newcastle University where he has taught modules on sociological research methods; social divisions; and social mobility. A former President of the British Sociological Association, and Director of the Scottish Mobility Study at Aberdeen University in the mid-1970s, he has written over 30 articles and three books on social mobility, and worked on education, social class, and research techniques. His widely-used ‘Social Divisions’ textbook is in its 3rd edition.
Introducing the Confusing World of Social Mobility;
‘There’s a Lot of it About’;
Log Cabins and Field-Marshals’ Batons;
The Political Re-discovery of Social Mobility;
Tracing the Origins;
Why low, why now?;
The Pessimism of Older Academic Mobility Analysis;
The Emergence of a New Society;
The New Mobility Regime;
Misconceptions of Schooling and Meritocracy;
Tightening Bonds and Professional Access;
Tables and Figures.