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The price of the ticket: rethinking the experience of social mobility

Friedman, Sam (2014) The price of the ticket: rethinking the experience of social mobility. Sociology, 48 (2). pp. 352-368. ISSN 0038-0385

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038513490355


Increasing social mobility is the ‘principal goal’ of the current Coalition Government’s social policy. However, while mainstream political discourse frames mobility as an unequivocally progressive force, there is a striking absence of studies examining the long-term impact of mobility on individuals themselves. In British sociology the most influential research was carried out by Goldthorpe 40 years ago and argued that the mobile were overwhelmingly content with their trajectories. However, using a critique of Goldthorpe as its springboard, this article calls for a new research agenda in mobility studies. In particular, it proposes a large-scale re-examination of the mobility experience – one which addresses the possibility that people make sense of social trajectories not just through ‘objective’ markers of economic or occupational success, but also through symbols and artifacts of class-inflected cultural identity. Such enquiry may yield a richer account that explains both the potential social benefits and the costs of mobility.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 BSA Publications Ltd.
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2014 14:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:12

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