Social Justice, Education, and Identity

By Carol Vincent | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Shifting class identities?

Social class and the transition to higher education

Diane Reay


Introduction

We are living in a period of rapid change and over the last twenty years radical changes have occurred in every sphere and level of society. A number of competing theories have emerged to explain these changes and their impact on identities. At one end of the theoretical spectrum, it has been argued that we have entered a new postmodern period, characterised by fragmentation of experience, the dissolution of structural forces such as social class and gender, a diversity of lifestyles and the loss of predictability (Aronowitz and Giroux 1991). At the other end of the theoretical spectrum, modernist theorists argue that, despite a fragmentation of structures, the weakening of traditional ties and the breakdown of 'ontological security' (Giddens 1991), these changes do not mean that the metanarratives of social class, race and gender have ceased to say anything useful about identities in the new millennium (Phillips 1999).

A particularly influential theory, which reflects on self-identity at the beginning of the twenty-first century, has been Beck's (1992) thesis of individualisation. According to Beck the certainties of the industrial era have been eroded and a new set of risks have emerged. These risks range from global risks stemming from the threat of environmental disasters and nuclear wars to risks which individuals need to negotiate routinely in their everyday lives. For Beck, while individuals' life chances remain highly structured, they are increasingly likely to seek solutions on an individual rather than a collective basis. Experiences are individualised in a process in which setbacks and crises are viewed as personal failure even when they are connected to processes beyond the individual's control (see also Bhatti, this volume).

Clearly, these theories have much to say about the development of class identities in the new millennium. Valerie Walkerdine, Helen Lucey and June Melody (2001), steering a theoretical path that draws on both modernist and postmodernist conceptions, argue that in order to understand social class injustices in contemporary society it is crucial to recognise class identity in two ways; both as a phantasmatic category that is discursively constructed but also as a category that still retains considerable power to explain social, cultural and material differences

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Justice, Education, and Identity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 227

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.