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Success sustained? A follow-up study of the 'Destined for Success?' cohort

Power, Sally A. R., Whitty, Geoff and Edwards, Tony 2006. Success sustained? A follow-up study of the 'Destined for Success?' cohort. Research Papers in Education 21 (3) , pp. 235-253. 10.1080/02671520600793732

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Abstract

This paper outlines the main substantive findings from the latest stage of a research programme which began in 1982. The most recent project was designed to provide an interim snapshot through a questionnaire survey of the progress of a group of young men and women whom we have been following since the start of their secondary education 2 when they were deemed to be ‘destined for success’. When we first revisited them they were in their mid‐20s. 3 We found that, by and large, their early educational promise had been realized. However, differences (sometimes very slight) in background and education were becoming evident in earnings and status. In this project, we have further investigated these differences now that they are in their early 30s through exploring the relative impact of: (a) entry into the labour market of those with extended educational transitions; (b) sideways occupational movements; (c) differences between professional and managerial career trajectories; (d) participation in lifelong education; (e) regional migration; (f) domestic responsibilities; and (g) public–private orientations. In broad terms, our survey of their current positions indicates that the early success of our respondents has been sustained. The large majority are in middle class occupations on comfortable, even very high, incomes. But behind this picture of what might be considered unextraordinary success, we have found that some within‐cohort differences have been magnified. We noted in the earlier study that those who were ‘getting on famously’ were most likely to have attended private schools and elite universities. Nearly 10 years on, the advantage of an elite education seems to have been consolidated. There has, however, been significant mobility, in terms of employment, occupations and regional migration that reveal the complexity and fluidity of middle class transitions and destinations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Educational pathways, Higher education, Longitudinal research, Middle class, Transitions
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1470-1146
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3042

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