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The transformation of higher education, credential competition, and the graduate labour market

Brown, Phillip ORCID: 2016. The transformation of higher education, credential competition, and the graduate labour market. Cote, James E. and Furlong, Andy, eds. Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education, Routledge International Handbooks, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 197-208.

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Emile Durkheim (1933) observed that education systems have two key roles: the socialisation of the young in preparation for future adult roles, and selection into employment based on individual ability and achievements. The rise of the credential in the twentieth century (Bourdieu and Boltanski, 1978) owes a lot to the fact that it is widely believed to address both. It represents a measure of the quality of educational experience in assessing the acquisition of knowledge, skills and expertise. At the same time, by extending access to selective examinations, the competition for credentials is also viewed as a currency of opportunity (Brown, 2006). Today, the role of mass higher education in preparing the future workforce and in extending individual opportunities has assumed increasing political and policy significance, as widening access is championed as a response to income inequalities and concerns about declining rates of upward intergenerational social mobility.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138778122
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 13:33

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