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Knowing Their Place: How Location Makes A Difference in Young People’s Aspirations. October 12, 2011 Keith Kintrea and Ralf St.Clair, University of Glasgow.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowing Their Place: How Location Makes A Difference in Young People’s Aspirations. October 12, 2011 Keith Kintrea and Ralf St.Clair, University of Glasgow."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowing Their Place: How Location Makes A Difference in Young People’s Aspirations. October 12, 2011 Keith Kintrea and Ralf St.Clair, University of Glasgow 1

2 What are aspirations? Aspire: ‘To aim at or strive for high things’ Aspirations: ‘Desires and ambitions about the future’ ‘Lofty hopes or aims’ 2

3 Aims To understand the relationship between young people’s aspirations and the context in which they are formed: Are young people's aspirations in disadvantaged areas low? Do their aspirations fall in the teenage years due to local factors? To what extent are their aspirations influenced by: The social dynamics of the immediate neighbourhood The perceptions of the wider urban labour market? 3

4 A model of aspiration formation 4 Individual Place Family ASPIRATION School MOTIVATIONOUTCOMES Experiences Relationships Circumstances

5 Ideal and Realistic Aspirations ‘Ideal’ aspirations: what an individual would do if there were no constraints ‘Realistic aspirations’ what an individual expects to do given their circumstances (‘expectations’) 5

6 The politics of aspiration- Labour ‘...I want for our young people the biggest expansion in educational opportunity our country has ever seen. And we will be truly world class in education only if we raise the aspirations of young people themselves..’ (Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister, 2007) 6

7 ...and Conservative/Liberal Democrats The aspiration to have a better life, to get a better job, to give your children a better future. The aspiration to work the extra hour. These aspirations are the most powerful forces in our nation. (Osborne, 2010). 7

8 Schools White Paper ‘In far too many communities there is a deeply embedded culture of low aspiration that is strongly tied to long term unemployment. (DoE, 2010, p.4)

9 Existing Evidence on Aspirations and Neighbourhood Aspirations appear often to be high- at young ages and among parents But aspirations influenced by other factors: schools, labour markets & employment practices, environment and reputations 9

10 Methods and Data Longitudinal survey of young people in 3 secondary schools (Glasgow, Nottingham, London (Newham)) at age 13 (490 cases) then 15 (288 cases) Matched data set to make comparisons at 13/15 Schools are situated in disadvantaged areas and/ or have disadvantaged intakes Supplemented by 175 interviews with parents and 33 with school staff and community reps. 10

11 11 Stage 1: 13 year oldsGlasgowNottinghamLondon Gender 59% Male 41% Female 55% Male 45% Female 59% Male 41% Female Family Background 81% White British 8% Asian 2% Black 1% Chinese 1% Other 7% Mixed 93% White British 1% Asian 4% Black 2% Mixed 3% White British 64% Asian 19% Black 10% Other 3% Mixed Stage 2: 15 year olds Gender 48% Male 52% Female 55% Male 45% Female 57% Male 43% Female Family Background 85% White British 4% Asian 1.5% Black 1.5% Chinese 8% Mixed 93% White British 5% Black 3% Mixed 4% White British 72% Asian 16% Black 6% Other 2% Mixed Characteristics of the Young People at Age 13 and Age 15

12 Home addresses of respondents attributed to IMD deciles (1 = High deprivation) 12

13 London Notting- ham Glasgow Age I would like to go to university Percent agreeing “I would like to go to university” by age and city 13

14 Ideal and Realistic occupational aspirations at 13 compared to current GB labour market 14

15 Ideal and Realistic occupations at 15 compared to current GB labour market 15

16 Aspirations and neighbourhood High exposure to neighbourhood and peers Limited intra urban mobility- esp.. in London Positive views of own neighbourhoods Most adults there are ‘doing well in life’ A desire to move away by a majority overall, and esp. in Nottingham However, no clear and consistent relationships between deprivation and aspirations 16

17 Occupational aspirations by SOC at age 13 and 15 in Nottingham (%) 17

18 Occupational aspirations by SOC at age 13 and 15 in Glasgow (%) 18

19 Occupational aspirations by SOC at age 13 and 15 in London 19

20 Thoughts to conclude Challenges assumptions about: Low aspirations Relationship between aspirations and disadvantage Depression of aspirations during teenage years Influence of neighbourhood and labour market context ‘Realism’ of occupational aspirations 20

21 Disadvantaged areas are not the same: London: highly aspirational migrant community; school, parents and young people oriented in same direction. Nottingham: white working class- residual tendency to prepare for working class jobs. School selectively supportive, parents supportive but vague Glasgow: a social mix, but more a sense of parallel lives than social mixing. 21

22 Implications Emphasises the importance of local programmes– how do we make this compatible with a national policy? How do we ensure young people can achieve their aspirations? What sort of evidence gaps remain?


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