Date of release: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A2261-Maria-PapapolydorouA University of Greenwich academic has been talking to BBC Radio 4 about social class and young people’s understandings of it.

Dr Maria Papapolydorou, pictured, is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Childhood Studies within the university’s School of Education. She was interviewed for Thinking Allowed about her research, which considers adolescents’ perceptions of social class in relation to their friendships. The programme aired on 6 June.

Maria’s research is based on interviews with 75 sixth form students from different London state schools. Maria presented her findings at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference in April. She gave a 30-minute presentation at the conference, and her paper was well received by the audience.

Maria says in relation to her research findings: “The students whom I interviewed were very well aware of social class issues and were able to articulate these issues. Some students used explicit social class terminology to position both themselves and others in a social class group, while other students alluded to it by using a range of indicators and proxies of social class.

“In addition, students tended to make friends with people from the same social class background as them. So working class students were more likely to form friendships with other working class students, rather than middle class, and vice versa.”

She conducted her research while studying for a doctoral degree at the Institute of Education, University of London. To hear her Radio 4 interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qy05

Story by Public Relations