Resources: One Direction Social Mobility

Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson

Jim is a consultant, researcher, coach and developer.

Social mobility policy needs to tackle endemic disadvantages of class and geography rather than just attempt to shift a few people into a social class with better life chances.

One Direction Social Mobility full version proposes that we change social policy to support the many rather than the few and switch some support from an over-emphasis on higher education to better support post-16.  The plight of the low-waged and the new EMPTIES (employed, poor and tied to insecure housing) are chronicled as are the flaws in how we ‘do’ social mobility.  It proposes that we are kinder to young people and invest the same public resources to much better ends. Here’s a sample of the essay:

“Government and the media are pretty obsessed with social mobility as long as it flows in a supposedly upward, virtuous trajectory.  We don’t mean those shiny-boy pop superstars One Direction, though their success rather illustrates the current-age vogue for aiming at fame, individualism and upward mobility.  The accepted social mobility narrative seems to be something like this.  Firstly, more people need to leave their social class and climb upwards and outward – that is to get out of their current, less affluent or under-privileged social class.  Secondly, the way to do this is through lots of high-grade GCSE’s and a university education. Both premises need questioning as does a dysfunctional view of social class and social progress that lies beneath.  Social mobility policy is torturing and confining people, especially the young, and perpetuating the modern myth of ‘good austerity’.”  Read the rest here.


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