Social mobility for whom, and at what social cost?

The Young People & Society Study Group meets once a term to discuss contemporary issues of interest to researchers at Durham University. The interdisciplinary group draws on expertise from seven University Schools, Departments and Colleges.

The first event this academic year will take place on Thursday 10th December in St Chad’s College and will tackle controversies surrounding the social mobility agenda.

The debate will be led by Dr Vikki Boliver of the School of Applied Social Sciences who will talk about equal access to elite universities. Professor Stephen Gorard from the School of Education will talk about the resurgence of political support for grammar schools and will assess its likely impact on social mobility. Professor Tony Chapman of St Chad’s College will talk about what counts as social mobility for many young people from deprived and marginalised communities and how such achievements are generally dismissed by politicians.

We then have a presentation by Professor Gina Porter and Dr Kate Hampshire of the Department of Anthropology to report on research they have recently completed. The title of their talk is: Exploring young people’s mobile phone usage in sub-Saharan Africa.