The Class Ceiling

Sam Friedman

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Bristol University Press
1 January 2020
ISBN: 9781447336105
Multiple formats

From the publisher

Politicians continually tell us that anyone can get ahead. But is that really true? This important, best-selling book takes readers behind the closed doors of elite employers to reveal how class affects who gets to the top. Friedman and Laurison show that a powerful 'class pay gap' exists in Britain's elite occupations. Even when those from working-class backgrounds make it into prestigious jobs, they earn, on average, 16% less than colleagues from privileged backgrounds. But why is this the case? Drawing on 175 interviews across four case studies - television, accountancy, architecture, and acting - they explore the complex barriers facing the upwardly mobile. This is a rich, ambitious book that demands we take seriously not just the glass but also the class ceiling.