Social Class.


This topic discuss social class and the barriers that people of socioeconomic status typically referred to as ‘working class’ face in education, work, and later life. 

A social class is a group of people who share the same economic circumstances. Many would argue that successful enaction of EDI principles would mean that no matter your class, you would have the same opportunities as anyone else. As many people end up in the same class as their parents, this ideal of socioeconomic mobility appears not to be realised. Is it up to universities to level the playing field? How can class affect education and job prospects? Is class perpetrated through governmental policies? How can class differences be alleviated?

Facilitation Notes

Discussion Questions
  • Why are class and poverty often not highlighted as problematic issues when discussing educational attainment?
  • Should universities promote the customs and behaviours of the ‘upper classes’ to level the playing field for working class students?
  • How else can universities level the playing field and encourage social mobility?
  • Do universities perpetuate class differences?
  • How do the differences in opportunity across classes fit with the notion of meritocracy?
Resource Personalisation

You could add resources on class differences in your university:

  • The difference in class attainment at university 
  • Whether there is a segregation of the student body according to classes that is evident in your university (e.g. in societies or in university leadership)
  • Your university’s policy on social mobility (e.g. contextual admissions) and whether this is sufficient.

The Reasons to be Cheerful conversation with Michael Sandel takes place from 11 – 50 mins. 

Culture Club.