Khôlle Anglais : Social mobility in UK

Dans cette article, je vais vous présenter un exemple de khôlle en Anglais. Celui-ci porte sur l’article suivant : «Social mobility in UK ‘virtually stagnant’ since 2014 »

Vous trouverez donc ici des tournures de phrases que vous pourrez réutiliser (phrases soulignées) dans vos prochaines khôls.


(0) George Orwell in The Lion and the Unicorn once said that« England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege ». 

(1) The article I was given to study could be linked to this quotation as it deals with the theme of social mobility in the UK which was discussed after the publication of the the condemnatory report of the government’s social mobility commission, whose goal is to assess progress in improving social mobility in the UK and to promote social mobility in England through the providing of published advice. (2) This article is from The Guardian and is entitled «Social mobility in UK ‘virtually stagnant’ since 2014 » and was published last year on April 30 (thirty) and written by Richard Adam. (3) Social mobility can be defined as the movement of individuals from one social class to another. Individuals may move up or down, or remain at the same level but in a different occupation. This report focuses on intergenerational, vertical and horizontal mobilities. Intergenerational mobility refers to the social mobility that takes place between generations. Vertical mobility is the change in status of an individual as moves up or down the social ladder and horizontal mobility is about the change from left to right or right to left. In horizontal mobility, the place is changed but the social position of an individual on the social ladder remains on the same level. (4) We could wonder with the reading of this article, if Britain is still to this day a class-bounded society, but first of all, I would like to summarize this article.

Plan de l’introduction : 

(0) Accroche

(1) description du document

(2) provenance

(3) Définition des termes importants 

(4) Problématique 

(5) Annonce du plan

I – Summary 

So, this article explains to us that social mobility in the UK has since 6 years been virtually stagnant. Which means that there haven’t been significant vertical mobilities in this lapse of time. This article give us the key to understand why there is this stagnation in mobility.

This inertia shown in the report put the light on the inequality in Britain work and educational system. Indeed, Martina Milburn, new chair of the commission explain through the report that the social place you’re born in determine drastically your futur place on the social ladder. In fact, the influence of your parent’s education, working field and connections is tremendous compared to our chances of occupying an equal or superior position. 

Thereby, reaching a socially valued position on the social ladder when born in a family in which the position was low, is much more intricate and harder than when your family is already at the top of the social ladder. 

This article also gives us statistics from the report of the commission. Therefore, we can see the even more stronger influence than we could have expected from the place of birth of an individual on his futur career and salary. Indeed, even when entering a successful carrer, people born from working-class parents are more likely on an average, to earn less than their colleagues born in the upper-class. 

This article also put the finger on the issue of what the commission call the « double disadvantage ». This is in link with the gender, ethnicity, class or disability of the individual. 

The report also caution us about the risks that come with the automation of works. Indeed, the people put at risk of technological unemployment are the less qualified workers, who are also , for a majority of them, coming from the working-class.

And finally, this article give us the the key recommendations given by the commission in order to boost the social mobility through reforms. One of the main wish of the commission is to ensure equality in chances of education between children, which is for them currently not the case. 

To wrap things up, this article exposes through the report of the commission the failure of the British government to help the lower class break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. 


II- The historical background 

The issue of mobility in great Britain is nothing new. Indeed, the chair of the commission is Martina Milburn, who comes after Alain Milburn, former Labour minister and chair of the commission. He retired with many commissioners in 2018 to show their dissatisfaction about the policies of Theresa May which was for them doing nothing concretely to make the social mobility more vigorous.

Let’s take for exemple education, whose impact is extremely strong on the futur career paths of the children. Since 2012, funds given to education by the government exclusively for the children between 16 and 19 years old has decreased by 12% and is now lower by 8% than the budget for pupils in the secondary, making it harder for students coming from poorer backgrounds to pursue higher education. Therefore, this cut in the budget in such an important field maintain the vicious circle in which disadvantaged from birth individuals have less possibilities in life to achieve a successful career. Indeed, when we know the influence of family in futur carrer path and that it is also known that the easiest way for a disadvantaged person on the social ladder to go up is through education, and that the government cut off the chances for all to reach an higher education, then we can understand why the motionlessness of social mobility is still relevant to this day 


III- Current issues : 

Through this article, we can see that even today, inequality in Great Britain is perpetuated by an inefficient government policies in term of education f.o.a but also employment.

To this day, parent’s carrer path has a huge influence in individual carrer’s path. The article gives us a concrete exemple when it tells us that 80% of people with parents working in the professional fields are destined to also go into the professionnel field. All thanks to their relatives network and their capacity to get higher education

Also, the commission pointed out a « double disadvantage ». Indeed, the chances to have a successful carrer path is lower when you’re coming form a working class background, when you’re a women, when you’re disabled, when you’re a person of color etc…

Those inequalities are also reinforced through innovations in technology and robotisation of works.

Indeed, the first person to be replaced by machine and therefore out of work are the less qualified workers. 


IV- what are the possible evolutions ? 

In order to lower the inequalities between classes, the commission is proposing that new Labor policies are done like, for instance, the expansion of free childcare and a bigger budget for education. 

To break this vicious circle, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Campbell Robb is suggesting that the government should put their energy and work in the increase of better skills for disadvantaged people to heighten their chances to go up the social ladder.


V- Conclusion

To put this all in a nutshell, finding solutions to help people climb up the social ladder seems to be a main concern for many but the inefficiency of the British government to do so shows us that it is not a priority for them and that they continue to turn a blind eye on this burning issue. This have for consequence to keep sociales classes apparent in the British society. Inequality of birth, whose people have no control over, is still what maintain the inequalities between individuals later on. By not helping people disadvantaged from the start, the government has failed to decrease inequality but also discredits completely the concept of meritocracy. Social determinism are still present today

Therefore, the assumption in which class in modern Britain would be irrelevant could be seen as naive. Also, the fact that people’s futures are determined at birth could imply that there is still some kind of an upper-class, middle class and working-class going on. In fact, the upper-class from a century ago was able to go to prestigious private school in which children were taught the codes but also made the right connections through networking.


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Laura Bertal

Actuellement étudiante en 1ère année à l'ESSEC et après deux années de classe préparatoire au lycée Ampère à Lyon en ECE, j'espère pouvoir contribuer à votre réussite !

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