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ClassLiving and Learning in the Digital Age$
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Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479884575

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479884575.001.0001

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Life Trajectories, Social Mobility, and Cultural Capital

Life Trajectories, Social Mobility, and Cultural Capital

(p.212) 10 Life Trajectories, Social Mobility, and Cultural Capital

Sonia Livingstone

Julian Sefton-Green

NYU Press

This chapter shifts the frame from connections across the places of young people’s lives to connections or disconnections over time. We inquire into the pathways set out for the class by their school and homes, the trajectories they follow in practice, and the factors that facilitate or block them. While our observations permitted an analysis that spans the fieldwork year, our interviews with the young people looked backward and forward over a longer timescale. By the age of 14, many of the young people were reflexively self-aware of the pathways and possibilities that faced them, and they were coming to terms with rather more mundane futures than the popular hyperbole of the digital age would suggest. As in other longitudinal sociological and social psychological studies, the effects of social reproduction were clear. Here we struggle to reconcile an optimistic recognition of the possibilities still open to our class of young people with the body of research on the lack of social mobility in Western societies that suggests a more pessimistic future for many of them.

Keywords:   Futures, Reflexivity, Social reproduction, Learning pathways, Transition to adulthood, Discourses of the future, The digital age, Social mobility, Life trajectories

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