Elite graduates in France and England

Elite graduates in France and England

Annabelle Allouch
  • Annabelle Allouch (OSC)Annabelle Allouch (OSC)

Annabelle Allouch vient de publier deux articles co-écrits avec des chercheurs des universités d'Oxford et de Cardiff dans lesquels sont abordées les questions du parcours éducatif, des aspirations, des débouchés et des réseaux professionnels des élites en France et en Angleterre.

Related to questions of education, careers, professional networks and aspirations of Elites in France and England, Annabelle Allouch recently published, in december 2013, two papers with other colleagues of Oxford and Cardiff Universities, in major journals of sociology.

Sally Power, Phillip Brown, Annabelle Allouch and Gerbrand Tholen, "Self, Career and Nationhood: The contrasting aspirations of British and French elite graduates", British Journal of Sociology, vol. 64, n° 4, p. 578-596.

Available on Wiley Online Library and Academia websites.

There is increasing interest in the emergence of a ‘global middle class’ in which high achieving young graduates increasingly look to develop careers that transcend national boundaries. This paper explores this issue through comparing and contrasting the aspirations and orientations of two ‘elite’ cohorts of graduates. Interviews with students at the University of Oxford, England, and Sciences-Po, France, reveal very different ambitions and allegiances. Our Oxford respondents portray their futures as projects of self-fulfilment as they build portfolio careers by moving from job to job and from country to country with limited social allegiances – epitomizing the nomadic worker of the transnational elite. Our Parisian respondents, on the other hand, display strong allegiances to the nation, state and civic duty. Their projects of the self involve reconciling their personal aspirations with strong allegiances to France. The paper concludes by discussing the significance of these differences. It argues that the enduring role of education in the formation of national identities should not be overlooked and that more detailed research is needed on the contextual specifity of transnationalism and the (re)production of elites.

Gerbrand Tholen, Phillip Brown, Sally Power, Annabelle Allouch, "The role of networks and connections in educational elites' labour market entrance", Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, vol. 34, p. 142-154.

Available on the Elsevier/ScienceDirectand Academia websites.

Despite extensive research on the role of ‘personal’ capital on labour market transitions, little is known about how those with elite credentials use networks and connection to improve their labour market chances. This becomes especially relevant within debates on the meritocratic nature of the post-industrial labour market. This article investigates how networks and connections aid educational elites to gain entrance into the upper echelons of the graduate labour market in two countries: France and England. Using interview data from final year students from two elite higher education institutions, Science Po and the University of Oxford, it is assessed whether their elite educational experiences are translated into networks and connections that aid their future labour market positions. The findings reveal that in both countries students have extensive opportunities to familiarise themselves with elite employers and create useful networks. In addition, students frequently arrange exclusive internships to seek future opportunities. We argue that these networks and connections are inherent to the elite educational experience and they could therefore help contribute to a credentialisation of the graduate labour market.

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