White men in their 20s are the least respected social group in Britain, according to a poll published last week – and also the least likely to go to university. But the truth may be more complex according to the author, Mike Savage, professor of sociology at London School of Economics.
This is an outstanding must-right article. He takes a longitudinal look at the changing fortunes of the UK’s white working classes. He contrasts the latest survey with the 1950s. Let me give you a flavor:
Alan Sillitoe’s classic 1950s novels Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner perfectly exemplify this image of a rugged, dogged, cussed – but also resilient – masculinity.
Traditional manual jobs were lost when UK industry could not longer compete with low-cost production from the Far East. Both management and unions were slow to change. Then we saw the impact of technology replacing traditional manual skills.
With technology more and more likely to engineer out manual and clerical jobs, surely it is perhaps time for the UK government to consider reintroducing national service?