Move on up: social mobility, opportunity and equality in the 21st century

Poverty Wealth Social issues Social class Social mobility United Kingdom

The essays in this collection shed light on the meaning of social mobility and meritocracy, challenging the usefulness of social mobility – if understood in a narrow sense of helping the ‘able’ reach the top – as a useful guiding concept for politics and policy. The pieces enrich the understanding of class in the UK today, what goals government needs to set, and what it would mean to have an equal economy and society.


  • Introduction – Carys Roberts and Tom Kibasi
  • The myths of social mobility – Selina Todd
  • Off target: We need to talk about child poverty again – Louisa McGeehan
  • Solving poverty: A necessity for social mobility – Campbell Robb
  • The £13 trillion elephant: Wealth, inequality and social mobility – Torsten Bell and Conor D’Arcy
  • The UK’s regional imbalance: Five challenges for social mobility – Sarah Longlands
  • A new politics of institutional classism – Mike Savage and Sam Friedman
  • The blank slate: Toby Young and social mobility – Danny Dorling
  • Social mobility and the labour market in 21st century Britain – Paul Gregg, Lindsey Macmillan and Tzvetan Moev
  • Beyond mobility: From individual success stories to community uplift – Faiza Shaheen and Liam Kennedy
  • Social mobility at the heart of government – Jonathan Portes
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