In this book Diane Reay, herself working class turned Cambridge professor, brings Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s pioneering Education and the Working Class from 1962 up to date for the 21st century.
Drawing on over 500 interviews, the book includes rich, vivid stories from working class children and young people. It looks at class identity, the inadequate sticking plaster of social mobility, and the effects of wider economic and social class relationships on working class educational experiences.
The book addresses the urgent question of why the working classes are still faring so much worse than the upper and middle classes in education. It reveals how we have ended up with an educational system that still educates the different social classes in fundamentally different ways, and vitally – what we can do to achieve a fairer system.
Diane Reay grew up in a working class, coal mining community before becoming an inner city, primary school teacher for 20 years. She is now emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and visiting Professor of Sociology at the LSE with particular interests in social justice issues in education, and cultural analyses of social class, race and gender. She has researched extensively in the areas of social class, gender and ethnicity across primary, secondary and post-compulsory stages of education.
Why can’t education compensate for society?;
The recent history of class in education;
Class in the classroom;
Social Mobility: a problematic solution;
The middle and upper classes: Getting the ‘best’ for your own child;
Class feeling: Troubling the soul and preying on the psyche;
Continuities and transformations: What has changed since Jackson and Marsden and what has remained the same?;
Conclusion: How and why do the working classes fare so much worse than the upper and middle classes in education? What can we do about it?;
Epilogue: Thinking through class.
“A trenchant portrayal of class processes in twentieth and early twenty-first century England…. a must read for all those interested in educational opportunities, the global economy, and the ways in which working class individuals and collectivities construct and live under conditions of massively intensifying inequalities.“ Lois Weis
State University of New York, University at Buffalo, USA, Author of Class Reunion: The Remaking of the American White Working Class
“No one has done more than Diane Reay to confront the complex emotions in living class inequalities in education. Her heartbreaking volume bears damning witness to neoliberalism’s contributions to the injuries of class.“ Lynne Layton, Harvard Medical School
"This searing critique of how schools and universities fail the working class and reproduce inequalities should be at the heart of contemporary debates on education." Andrew Sayer, University of Lancaster
“Incredibly insightful and passionate …Diane Reay really does get class. Mandatory reading for anyone proclaiming greater equity in education.” John Smyth, University of Huddersfield
"Diane Reay's compelling analysis synthesises memoir, a wealth of personal testimonies and statistics to reveal a hidden story of Britain's education system. Her sharply argued book demonstrates why selective education is bad for all of us." Selina Todd, St Hilda's College, Oxford
‘Passionate, provocative and deeply troubling this book examines contemporary working-class education....should be required reading for politicians of both the left and especially the right’. Tim Strangleman, University of Kent
The Policy Press
11 Oct 2017
11 Oct 2017
11 Oct 2017