January 2019 Academic & Specialist Bristol University Press

The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison

The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged
Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison


Paperback | Jan 2020 | Policy Press | 9781447336105 | 224pp | 198x129mm | GEN | AUD$22.99, NZD$27.99
Hardback | Jan 2019 | Policy Press | 9781447336068 | 224pp | 198x129mm | GEN | AUD$44.99, NZD$54.99

The hidden barriers, or ‘glass ceilings’, preventing women and minority ethnic groups from getting to the top are well documented. Yet questions of social class — and specifically class origin — have been curiously absent from these debates. In this book, Friedman and Laurison argue that there is also a powerful ‘class ceiling’ at play in elite occupations. Drawing on analysis of the UK, U.S, France, Australia and Norway, they demonstrate that even when those from working-class backgrounds make it into the most prestigious jobs they still earn, on average, 10-15% less than colleagues from privileged backgrounds. Drawing on 200 interviews across four case studies — television, accountancy, architecture, and acting – they explore the complex barriers facing the upwardly mobile. This is a rich, ambitious book that demands we take seriously not just the glass but also the class ceiling.

'...lucid, rigorous, readable...Exposing the fallacy of meritocracy, this enlightening and powerfully engaging study should be essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of Britain in these turbulent times.' — Love Reading, read full review here