Social class and participation in further education: Evidence from the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales

Ronald Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This paper examines the class distribution of young people, aged 16–17 years, in colleges of further education (FE) using data from the Youth Cohort Study. It finds that, contrary to popular perceptions of FE colleges as being for ‘other people’s children’, middle‐class students as well as working‐class students are well represented. However, this does not imply that FE colleges are institutions of choice; middle‐class representation is often related to lower achievement and, for low‐achieving working‐class students, leaving education entirely is more likely than entry to FE. These findings are explored using notions of habitus and field. Their relationship with studies of the education of middle‐class children is also discussed, and the paper suggests that research on class in FE colleges must come to terms with middle‐class presence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheorizing Social Class and Education
EditorsDiane Reay, Carol Vincent
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter4
Pages51-64
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315540009
ISBN (Print)9780415842297
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2014

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    Thompson, R. (2014). Social class and participation in further education: Evidence from the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales. In D. Reay, & C. Vincent (Eds.), Theorizing Social Class and Education (pp. 51-64). Routledge.