A study that has followed a group of Australians for the past 29 years provides a fascinating insight into who gets a leg up in society, and how
n 1990, the Brotherhood of St Laurence began a study in the inner-city Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy. Life Chances has echoes of the British Seven Up series, which has documented the lives of 14 people every seven years since the early 1960s.
The heart of both projects is class. Life Chances began with 167 babies born to wealthy parents, poor parents, middle-class parents, migrant and single parents. Its key question is whether we can trace – or even predict – from the circumstances of their birth what opportunities these children will have later in life
The babies are now in their late 20s, and the Brotherhood has just released its 11th report, on the impact of advantage and disadvantage during the tricky transition from education to work. The answer to the central question, says Dr Dina Bowman, who heads the study, is that class does matter in Australia, but it’s not fate. Other things, some informal and some formal, play a role too, and that’s where policy can even the playing field.
SOURCE: Alcorn, Gay. “Dumb Luck, Nurturing, Hard Work: How class does not always dictate fate.” The Guardian, Sunday 20 October 2019
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia