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Is it wrong that privately educated, middle classed people take most of the top jobs? Watch

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    I saw a report in the paper the other day which said that if you're not born into a middle-classed family and sent to a private school (or at least a grammar) it is almost impossible to reach a top position in many professions such as law, medicine and government.

    Is this true? A friend of mine is currently applying to law firms in London and he has not been to a private school but he says that the vast majority of people he meets there have (and most have been to Oxbridge).

    Is it right that these people are essentially inheriting positions of power and wealth? What can we do to make our society more meritocratic?
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    Pay no heed to that report.

    If you have the talent and the passion, it is possible.

    Naturally, it is easier to achieve born into a family with connections and funding.
    However, by no means is it 'almost impossible'.
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    The world isn't fair

    And also middle class people rock
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    If they're the most qualified for it, why not? They might be qualified to it through advantages not available to other people, but that's beside the point.
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    Aston business school ? yes.
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    Answer to thread title?

    Yes.
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    The problem is, by striving to make everything fair, you also risk making everyone mediocre. Private schools are around for a good reason. That's the problem with democracy, its the productive part of society that drives the country forward, but the unproductive part that has the vote :x
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    Welcome to the capitalist world.
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    If you thin everyone should be born with equal opportunity, then yes. Most people seem not to think that though.

    (Original post by dorian gray)
    However, by no means is it 'almost impossible'.
    For medical statistics purposes they put people into classes, and for someone to move between those classes (motility) it is pretty rare.
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    It all comes down to aspiration and opportunity. Most kids of working class families, or to be more precise their parents, never aspire to anything more than maybe owning a small satellite TV installation company. Education beyond being able to remember what your mates like to drink when it's your round seems superfluous, so grammar and certainly private schooling is never considered, heck even A-Levels are in most instances dismissed...


    And of course opportunity. If your parents can't afford to send you to a private school, let alone away to university then you aren't going to benefit from the advantages that these bring.


    You certainly cannot achieve much in this day and age without a degree, well not unless you happen to inherit a bucket full of cash or win the lottery and don't piss it all away in six months...


    So you can just about get on with basically pushy parents who are willing to scrimp and save to send you to uni, and coach you through your A-levels. Having the money to go to a private school makes it a bit easier, and I guess down the line the contacts might be handy (old boys network, etc...), but really it's the drive to succeed that is of paramount importance, as without it no amount of your parent's cash is going to help you...
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    Yes, it is. It's a sad world when you can buy your way through education and to jobs.
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    That's frankly more page-filler created by journalists to sell newspapers or gain viewers. Much of our media is filled with this sort of rubbish nowadays, but that is a whole other thread. Like someone else said if you have the drive then you don't have to come from the middle classes or be privately educated.

    As far as whether it is fair/wrong or not, that question is almost irrelevant. Life is unfair. Many people are born with advantages over others. You have to make the most of what you have and create and develop that which you don't.

    You can only blame society for so much before you have to start looking inside yourself.
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    (Original post by HappinessHappening)
    I saw a report in the paper the other day which said that if you're not born into a middle-classed family and sent to a private school (or at least a grammar) it is almost impossible to reach a top position in many professions such as law, medicine and government.

    Is this true? A friend of mine is currently applying to law firms in London and he has not been to a private school but he says that the vast majority of people he meets there have (and most have been to Oxbridge).

    Is it right that these people are essentially inheriting positions of power and wealth? What can we do to make our society more meritocratic?

    Up with the middle classes :woo:
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    (Original post by Stomm)
    And of course opportunity. If your parents can't afford to send you to a private school, let alone away to university then you aren't going to benefit from the advantages that these bring.

    So you can just about get on with basically pushy parents who are willing to scrimp and save to send you to uni, and coach you through your A-levels.[/B]
    Going to university isn't about money. Anyone can afford to go to university these days. In fact, in a lot of cases, kids from poorer families can afford to go to university more than a lot of others. Universities throw money at poor kids. Heck, someone with a low family income will get £2,400 from UCL compared to my £300, for example, despite the exact same living costs. And I don't know many people of any class who were coached through their A-levels. You're putting the emphasis on money when it's irrelevant with regards to getting into uni. No one is poor enough that they can't afford to go to uni, they're just poorly educated about the real costs and benefits so they think it's a waste of time. Change that, and you've solved the working class aversion to uni.

    Rather than whining about how unfair it is that privately educated kids take all the best university places, and thus the best jobs, do something about how mediocre our state schools are. There are more private school students at top universities than state schoolers because they've received a better education and are more likely to get the grades required. Surely you should improve the education offered by the state so that no one feels the need to go private, if you want to see more equality?
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    businesses should be able to employ who they want. as a council estate raised believer in capitalism i have to say i am sick of the constraints the govt is never ceasing to impose on companies....you must employ x women, x ethnic min orities and imagine adding x poor people to that list? it's sooo stupid. ineqaulities will always exist...deal with it. will they be stark enough to make life worse than under a socialist state? don't make me laugh...capitalism is the lesser evil and unlike the former it actually provides people a way out.

    without capitalism there is no social mobility. and from my experience of a council estate....what seperates the socialists and the capitalists within it is almost always work ethic. socialists arfe, fat, lazy, uneducated, i want, i want, spotty teenage layabouts on benefits
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    Some difficult sociological questions here.

    I think it boils down to the fact that education is a fundamental instituion and a large part of how society reproduces itself. It cannot reproduce society in ways that are at odds with the overall organisation of capitalism. It can equalise to some extent though, I believe.

    Yes it is wrong. But the solution is difficult.
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    It's the nepotism that gets on my wick
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    i hate private school bashing. it is just so consumed with envy it is hard not to cringe. If parents can afford to send their kids to a good school then that is their choice and their business. i hate those high and mighty pious idiots who love to impose their envious, bitter morality on others and tell them they're scum cos they were lucky enough to have well off parents. as the son of a cleaner i cant tell you how much i hate these socialists idiots....i've experiences financial misfortune and the fact that many people can afford to give their kids an affluent lifestyle is a GOOD thing....it shows that capitalism is a force for good and it is where i hope to be one day....i find socialists insulting..they'd rather drag the well off down to my family's level than try to raise us to the fortunate level.

    envious layabouts go **** yourself
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    (Original post by crazyspacemonkey)
    That's frankly more page-filler created by journalists to sell newspapers or gain viewers. Much of our media is filled with this sort of rubbish nowadays, but that is a whole other thread. Like someone else said if you have the drive then you don't have to come from the middle classes or be privately educated.

    As far as whether it is fair/wrong or not, that question is almost irrelevant. Life is unfair. Many people are born with advantages over others. You have to make the most of what you have and create and develop that which you don't.

    You can only blame society for so much before you have to start looking inside yourself.
    I will quote from Goldthorpe as I think it's interesting and relevant enough to warrant:

    '...Hayek agrees that it is beneficial to the operation of such societies that individuals should believe that their well-being depends primarily on their own efforts and decisions and, for this reason, he notes, such a belief is typically encouraged 'by education and governing opinion'. But there are at the same time dangers in 'an exaggerated confidence' in its truth. For it must then appear as 'a bitter irony and provocation' to those who have failed but who regard themselves as being - and indeed perhaps are - as able and deserving as those who have suceeded; while the latter are encouraged in their self-esteem and self-righteousness, which does not make them more popular. It is, as Hayek concludes, 'a real dilemma to what extent we ought to encourage in the young the belief that when they really try they will suceed or should rather emphasize that inevitably some unworthy will succeed and some worthy fail'.

    I don't mean to throw long quotes at people it just seemed very apt.
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    (Original post by Ewan)
    The problem is, by striving to make everything fair, you also risk making everyone mediocre. Private schools are around for a good reason. That's the problem with democracy, its the productive part of society that drives the country forward, but the unproductive part that has the vote :x
    But that assumes that privately educated... etc are the best qualified for the job. In reality that isn't true. But patronage from your dad's friends to help ease you into a job that an outsider would have no chance of getting is wrong on all levels.

    I have seen for myself that nepotism is rife in local councils and the result of that is not that the cream is rising to the top. On the contrary, it means that people who would normally struggle for a job and being given jobs beyond their capabilities and as a result ordinary people's lives get messed up.

    As for the comment about anyone being able go to university, that is rubbish, completely and utterly. A family with a low income need to have all members contributing as soon as they are able to. It's not like a rich family where you can ask your parents to give you money andgoods when you short of cash. A poor family doesn't have the capacity to do that. So their kids must contribute to the household cost.

    I live with my mother and the only reason that I can go to university is because I work part-time and can give that money and part of my student grant to my mother to help to pay for the household bills. Without that job there is no possible way that I could be at university. Why is that so hard to understand?
 
 
 
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