Post-Industrial and Work Class? Young People’s Inequalities in Higher Education


  • Leah Williams Leeds Beckett University


Living in a post-industrial society brings new challenges and risks for individuals in terms of opportunity and being faced with a newly devised economy and work environment. Post-industrial society is a radical break from what was known before, with a massive shift from manual work to a heavy employment within the service sector. Alongside this is the increased need for knowledge and the expansion of Higher Education.

This contribution looks into youth transition and the inequalities that young people may face when it comes to higher education, arguing that whilst there are more opportunities to pursue Higher Education for working class people, this also creates more risk for them than it would for middle class students. I will explore this deploying theories such as knowledge society, neoliberalism and risk society in order to highlight the inequalities reproduced within higher education in the current social climate.