You are invited to a colloquium of interest to COR community….
Friday, November 16, 2018
Lyman Porter Colloquium Room (SB1 5200)
Speaker: Sam Friedman, Associate Professor of Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology
Title: The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged
Abstract: The hidden barriers, or ‘glass ceilings’, preventing women and minority ethnic groups from getting to the top are well documented. Yet questions of social class – and specifically class origin – have been curiously absent from these debates. In this talk I begin by drawing on new data from Britain’s largest employment survey, The Labour Force Survey, to demonstrate that a powerful and previously unrecognised “class pay gap” exists in Britain’s higher professional and managerial
occupations. I then switch focus to ask why this pay gap exists. This analysis demonstrates that the class ceiling can only be very partially attributed to conventional measures of ‘merit’. Instead, drawing on 175 interviews across four occupational case studies – television, accountancy, architecture, and acting – I show that more powerful drivers are rooted in the misrecognition of classed self-presentation as ‘talent’, work cultures historically shaped by the privileged, the affordances of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, and sponsored mobility premised on class-cultural homophily.