Policy Press

The Degree Generation

The Making of Unequal Graduate Lives

By Nicola Ingram, Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Jessie Abrahams, Laura Bentley, Harriet Bradley, Tony Hoare, Vanda Papafilippou and Richard Waller

Published

Jun 22, 2023

Page count

212 pages

ISBN

978-1529208856

Dimensions

216 x 240 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 22, 2023

Page count

212 pages

ISBN

978-1529208849

Dimensions

216 x 240 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 22, 2023

Page count

212 pages

ISBN

978-1529208870

Dimensions

216 x 240 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 22, 2023

Page count

212 pages

ISBN

978-1529208870

Dimensions

216 x 240 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
The Degree Generation

What are the challenges for the current generation of graduate millennials? The role of universities and the changing nature of the graduate labour market are constantly in the news, but less is known about the experiences of those going through it.

This book traces the transition to the graduate labour market of a cohort of middle-class and working-class young people who were tracked through seven years of their undergraduate and post-graduation lives.

Using personal stories and voices, the book provides fascinating insights into the group’s experience of graduate employment and how their life-course transitions are shaped by their social backgrounds and education. Critically evaluating current government and university policies, it shows the attitudes and values of this generation towards their hopes and aspirations on employment, political attitudes and cultural practices.

"A must-read for anyone interested in grasping how the experience of higher education has altered. It offers a unique insight into the process of generational change and the transformation of the role of the academic." Frank Furedi, University of Kent

“A very important book on graduates’ experiences of the labour market, offering a strong sociological analysis of how inequalities continue to affect the transition between higher education and work.” Gerbrand Tholen, City, University of London

"Questions long-standing discourses surrounding aspirations, social mobility and success by examining the transition from university to the labour market. Theoretically rich and methodologically powerful, this book illustrates the class work involved in varying forms of capital that differentially position graduates ... a must-read." Amy E. Stich, University of Georgia

"Offers unparalleled access to the hidden motivations behind career decisions and desires, so often absent from policy decisions or employment discourses.” Sarah O’Shea, Curtin University

"An insightful read that will captivate the interest of anyone concerned with how inequalities continue to affect graduates’ transitions from university to the labour market" Educational Review

Nicola Ingram is Professor of Education at University College Cork, Ireland.

Ann-Marie Bathmaker is Professor Emerita of Vocational and Higher Education at the University of Birmingham.

Jessie Abrahams is Lecturer of Education at the University of Bristol.

Laura Bentley is ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.

Harriet Bradley has retired.

Tony Hoare is a Consultant at the University of Bristol, after retirement from his post as Research Director in Widening Participation.

Vanda Papafilippou is Senior Lecturer of Human Resources Management at the University of the West of England.

Richard Waller is Professor of Education and Social Justice at the University of the West of England.

1. Graduate Success and Graduate Lives

2. Moving on Up: Researching the Lives and Careers of Young Graduates

3. London Calling: Being Mobile and Mobilizing Capitals

4. ‘There’s No Place Like Home’: Graduate Mobilities and Spatial Belonging

5. Jobs for the Boys? Gender, Capital and Male-Dominated Fields

6. Intersections of Class and Gender in the Making of ‘Top Boys’ in the Finance Sector

7. Following Dreams and Temporary Escapes: The Impacts of Cruel Optimism

8. Lucky Breaks? Unplanned Graduate Pathways and Fateful Outcomes

9. Conclusion: The Making of Graduate Lives