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Aspirations: the moral of the story

Baker, William 2017. Aspirations: the moral of the story. British Journal of Sociology of Education 38 (8) , pp. 1203-1216. 10.1080/01425692.2016.1254540

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This paper argues for the importance of studying the moral meanings that young people attach to their aspirations and plans for the future. Drawing on semi-structured interview data with 29 young people from a Sixth Form College in a disadvantaged area of East London, I show that aspirations are closely connected to the formation of individual and group identities, and the making of inter-group boundaries. I argue that young people develop aspirations as part of a normatively evaluative narrative about who they are and the kind of person they hope to become. Focusing on moral meanings helps us to better understand young peoples’ range of motivations for pursuing particular goals, and may help to explain why aspirations can remain high even in the absence of capitals, resources or opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0142-5692
Funders: ESRC (1+3 studentship)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2016
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 11:45

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