ESDS Qualidata study on education and the working class

Article dated: 17 September 2007

ESDS Qualidata have released Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden's Education and the Working Class: Some General Themes Raised by a Study of 88 Working Class Children in a Northern Industrial City, 1946-1960 (SN 5457). This enhanced dataset is the basis for Jackson and Marsden's book Education and the Working Class. Published in 1962, its critical reception was just as, if not more, significant and lasting than the many copies it sold. Now, 45 years later, Jackson and Marsdens original interview notes, along with a user guide and data listing, are available online.
Inspired by their own biographies, Jackson and Marsden attempted to discover the gains and losses working class grammar school children experience. In their hometown of Huddersfield (under the pseudonym of Marburton), Jackson and Marsden identified grammar school attendees between 1946 and 1954 whose fathers were working-class. This produced a sample of 88 who were interviewed, with their parents interviewed separately. An additional ten middle-class children and their parents were also interviewed. 

The study considered why many working-class children failed to complete their full grammar school education, asking if the price of access into middle-class life required moving away from working class origins. An additional motivation was to contribute to the debate on opening up grammar school and university education to working-class children. 

The collection has been enhanced by converting all 265 interviews from paper to PDF files. Additional relevant documents in the user guide include researcher correspondence, sample information, and reviews and correspondence. The user guide also contains contemporary recollections and reflections by Marsden on education and the working class.