McAlister-wilson, Samantha

McAlister-wilson, Samantha
Start date:
October 2018
Research Topic:
Class, education and discrimination
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor David James and Dr Dawn Mannay
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
Research keywords:
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My research, provisionally titled “Degrees of discrimination: An analysis of social mobility stagnation and ‘class gaps’ for Higher Education students and graduates”, will be located within the fields of social stratification (social mobility), discrimination, and identity.

Education is routinely heralded as a vehicle for social mobility, however at four key stages ‘class gaps’ emerge between low socio-economic status (SES) students and those more advantaged: an ‘access gap’, an ‘attainment gap’, an ‘employment gap’ and a ‘pay gap’.

My project has two central questions:

  1. Why is social mobility not being realised by low SES students/graduates and what role does bias and discrimination play in explaining ‘class gaps’?
  2. How might the skills, cultural capital and lived experiences of low SES students/graduates be repositioned to bring about a stronger sense of belonging and value of working class identities?