Higher Civil Servants in Britain: From 1870 to the Present Day

Higher Civil Servants in Britain: From 1870 to the Present Day

Higher Civil Servants in Britain: From 1870 to the Present Day

Higher Civil Servants in Britain: From 1870 to the Present Day

Excerpt

The present volume is based upon a study forming part of a wider research programme, the first main results of which were published in July 1954 in a symposium, Social Mobility in Britain, edited by D. V. Glass. The various contributions in that volume provide a background against which the present enquiry should be examined. They were concerned with general problems of social selection and differentiation in Britain. They showed the broad trends, during the last two generations, in educational opportunity, and the relation of that opportunity to movement on the social ladder. They also indicated some of the changes in educational opportunity which had resulted from the legislation of the 1940s, and some of the problems which still arise.

In the overall research plan of the Division of Sociological Research at the London School of Economics it was envisaged that these general studies should be followed by a series of more specific enquiries. It would be relevant, for example, to examine the social and psychological consequences of upward and downward social mobility. Again, much could be learnt from the study of stratified working groups, such as factories or offices, about the relationship between the nature of the hierarchy and the types of conflict arising between different strata.

In addition, studies of particular groups or professions were needed, particularly those whose place in the power structure of the community, or in the process of social mobility, could be regarded as 'critical'. It is into this last category of studies that the present work fits, as also does another enquiry now completed by a colleague. Dr. A. Tropp, in his forthcoming volume on the elementary school-teaching profession in England and Wales, also deals with a government-created profession, but one which contrasts sharply with the Higher Civil Service in important respects. Unlike the Higher Civil Service, which was to be recruited from the expensively-educated middle classes, the elementary teaching profession drew heavily upon the previously uneducated 'artisanate'. The teaching profession until this century obtained its entrants through a specially subsidized system of education and . . .

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