‘Culture, Capitals and Graduate Futures: Degrees of Class’ highlighted as Times Higher book of the month

Doctor Ciaran Burke, who has recently joined the sociology group at Plymouth from the University of Ulster, had his book, ‘Culture, Capitals and Graduate Futures: Degrees of Class’, published by Routledge.

The Times Higher highlighted it as a book of the month, explaining:

Burke’s work serves to bring the educational and employment experiences of a broader range of recent graduates into sharper focus through an analysis of what he defines as five distinct groups: the strategic middle class, the strategic working class, the converted working class, the entitled middle class and the static working class. He argues that these groups are differentiated by their members’ aspirations and expectations, as well as by the strategies they use to realise their career ambitions.

The main conclusion that Burke draws is that early experiences of class before higher education continue to have a central impact on the working lives of graduates long after they have left university. This is not because of their educational achievements but rather because of what they are not aware of, or do not find for themselves when playing (or being played) in the game of finding a career. The grounds for hope revealed by Burke’s study is that individuals, through their own strategies or through supported reflective action, can rewrite this cast(e)ing.

These issues are ones that the sociology group are keen to address in supporting our own students develop effective strategies for future employment.