The ‘myth of meritocracy’ has been a longstanding debate. Even when those from working class backgrounds are in prestigious jobs, earnings can be up to 16% less than co-workers from more privileged backgrounds. There is evidence that demonstrates how class and inequality are unequivocally tied throughout an individual’s life, but this is not yet sufficiently reflected in government policy. From Tony Blair's 'end of class war' to Theresa May's 'British Dream', there has been public acknowledgement of the problem but no consensus on possible solutions.
What is certain is that tackling class inequality is key to achieving inclusive growth. The Centre for Progressive Policy invites sociologist Sam Friedman to discuss some of the compelling arguments in his latest book on how class and privilege affect earnings and social status in the UK context with the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding about what this might mean for policy and practice. This in-conversation and Q&A will explore how people's start in life impacts on pay and future prospects. The event will be chaired by Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) 's Head of Policy and Engagement Zoë Billingham.
The event will be followed by drinks and nibbles.
Associate Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics and a Commissioner at the Social Mobility Commission.
Sam Friedman is Associate Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics and a Commissioner at the Social Mobility Commission. He has published widely on social class, social mobility and elites. He is the author of Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour (Routledge 2014) and the co-author of Social Class in the 21st Century (Penguin, 2015).