IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Class, culture, and barriers to mobility

04 June 2024, 5:15 pm–7:15 pm

Annette Lareau's photo on the left side. The background is pink. On the right, it says IOE Guest Lectures. Credit: IOE Marcomms.

Join Professor Annette Lareau for this Guest Lecture as she draws our attention to the complex ways in which class-based cultural knowledge creates its own barriers.

This event is free.

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20 Bedford Way

While extensive work has documented the crucial role of material resources in social mobility, in this lecture, Annette will present qualitative research revealing the nuanced ways cultural knowledge can be consequential in mobility journeys, based on research in the USA with a racially-diverse sample of young people from different class locations.

This includes longitudinal data from two books she has written: one that highlights how young adults’ knowledge of navigating institutional barriers can have key consequences; and another that illuminates how organisations routinely made errors that thwarted the paths of refugees in Philadelphia from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

She will discuss the impact of these errors, particularly in the delivery of services, and how cultural knowledge was essential to untangling the “knots” that arise.

This in-person event will be particularly useful for researchers, policymakers and teachers.

The IOE Guest Lecture series

Our series of public guest lectures provides an opportunity to celebrate and share the expertise of our guest speakers. Join the conversation on Twitter with #IOELectures and @IOE_London.

Each lecture is free and open to everyone - staff, students and members of the public.

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About the Speakers

Professor Annette Lareau

Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania

Currently, she is also a Leverhulme Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

She is the author of the award-winning books Unequal Childhoods, Home Advantage, and Listening to People. With Blair Sackett, she authored We Thought It Would be Heaven: Refugees in an Unequal America.

Annette is currently doing a study of the blessings and challenges of wealth for families. She is a former President of the American Sociological Association.

Professor Louise Archer (Chair)

Karl Mannheim Chair in Sociology of Education at IOE

Her research seeks to understand educational identities and inequalities in relation to social class, gender and race/ethnicity across primary, secondary, higher and informal STEM learning contexts.

She has authored over 100 academic publications and has directed numerous national and international research studies, including the 14-year, ESRC-funded ASPIRES study (tracking young people's trajectories, age 10-22).

Louise works extensively with policy-makers and practitioners to support equity in education. The impact of her research has been recognised through prizes from the Royal Society (2022), ESRC (2020) and British Educational Research Association (2019).

More about Professor Louise Archer (Chair)