Chapter

The place of aspiration in UK widening participation policy: moving up or moving beyond?

Gavin Brown

in Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428462
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447307259 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428462.003.0006
The place of aspiration in UK widening participation policy: moving up or moving beyond?

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This chapter charts the history of British widening participation policy since 1997, suggesting that there have been three distinct phases in the implementation of this policy over this period. The chapter focuses on the second of those phases, in which the emphasis was on interventions designed to change the aspirations of young people from low income families so that they could contribute to future national economic competitiveness. It argues that interventions around young people's aspirations during this period (2001 – 2010) simultaneously operated in relation to multiple spatial scales. The chapter offers an alternative spatial language to describe widening participation interventions and concludes by considering the political and ethical value of enabling young people to broaden their horizons by developing an outward-looking orientation to the world beyond their home neighbourhoods.

Keywords: Widening participation; Aspirations; Youth policy; Young people's geographies

Chapter.  7035 words. 

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