La division spatiale de l’opportunité: le contexte économique local, les voies privilégiées et le secteur de l’ouverture sociale

Translated title of the contribution: Spatial division of opportunity: local economic context, elite trajectories, and the widening participation industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The importance of geography in debates around education and labour market inequality is an enduring public policy concern. This paper argues that local economic contexts have a role in shaping the kind of university and career trajectories working-class young people are exposed to. Drawing on multi-sited data on working-class young people in different local contexts across England, it underlines the importance of regional economic development, the geography of elite universities and the spatial patterning of widening participation networks and activity. In the capital, a sophisticated widening participation infrastructure exists–including multiple partnerships between schools and the third and private sectors–which far exceeds the networks and support found elsewhere. Combined with London’s high economic capital and elite career pathways, this infrastructure greatly facilitates systems of support designed to drive aspirations to elite universities and careers. Whilst advocating for a fairer distribution of educational opportunities nationwide, we argue that, without acknowledging the origins of spatial imbalances within the UK, any attempt at simply ‘spreading out the same’ opportunities risks offering a superficial response. If long-term change is to be truly advanced, a more systematic dismantling of how economic functions and social relations are configured spatially must first be achieved.

Translated title of the contributionSpatial division of opportunity: local economic context, elite trajectories, and the widening participation industry
Original languageFrench
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Early online date27 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding
The ‘elite’ study formed part of the lead author’s PhD research which was funded by a University of Bath research studentship. The ‘place’ study was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council grant (Ref: ES/N002121/1).

Keywords

  • Doreen massey
  • Elite universities
  • geographies of higher education
  • spatial division of labour
  • widening participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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