Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781447318248 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $110.00 ISBN: 9781447318231 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only

Student Lives in Crisis

Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity

Lorenza Antonucci

Student Lives in Crisis

Lorenza Antonucci

Distributed for Bristol University Press

208 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2016
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781447318248 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $110.00 ISBN: 9781447318231 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
The greatest social change in Europe during the last twenty years is that almost half of Europe’s young people now attend college. Yet despite these unprecedented levels of university attendance, the lived experiences of students remain largely undocumented. Focusing on the effects of the financial crisis and austerity, this empirically grounded analysis compares the lives of university students from three very different European welfare systems: Italy, England, and Sweden. By contrasting access to welfare support—in connection with the role of families, the state, and the labor market postgraduation—Student Lives in Crisis exposes the students’ often overlooked social realities, as well as the impact of their shared experience of financial uncertainty. Drawing on questionnaires and first person interviews, Lorenza Antonucci reveals the misconceptions behind many higher education policies in Europe, demonstrating that university participation exacerbates rather than ameliorates inequalities among young people from different social backgrounds.
Review Quotes
Times Higher Education, Book of the Week
“Antonucci's excellent and timely study hammers home the fact that there is insufficient focus on the stratified labor market and differences in the graduate premium across subjects and . . . across gender and race. . . . I’m often dismissed as an idealist, but a study such as this one shows clearly how the so-called realism and pragmatism of higher education policy makers fail to achieve the very goals that they claim to support. Why not aim high instead of low? When I put this book down, I was left thinking, ‘one solution: revolution.’”
LSE Review of Books
"An eye-opening account of the material inequalities that young people face whilst at university. . . . Student Lives in Crisis should be read by anyone interested in higher education policies in Europe, young people's transitions, and those researching inequality and social mobility more generally."
Daniel Boffey | Observer
"[In] university education . . . the provision of limited loans exacerbates the difference in life chances of those with and without family wealth. . . . Antonucci’s central thesis is that as the state has retrenched and private sources of welfare have become increasingly important. . . . She argues instead for a universal student support, on the basis that an assessment of family income currently does not account for debt or reflect the availability of support."
Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy
"Not only a compelling read but also an excellent detailed discussion of the social processes at work in young people's lives."
British Journal of Educational Studies
"Located at the intersection between academia and policy, this book makes a great contribution to the way in which European societies can begin to address the deepening inequality before and after times of austerity."
Lorenzo Marsili, founder European Alternatives
"Will young people play a role in dismantling austerity in Europe? In an important contribution to the debate on inequality, Antonucci shows us the extent to which our system is failing its youth."
Patrick Diamond, Co-Chair and Research Director of Policy Network
"This incisive and penetrating analysis presents a major challenge to policy-makers in rethinking the role of higher education in an era of heightened precarity and new social risks."
Judith Bessant, Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
"Antonucci provides invaluable insight into the university experience in a context of growing graduate unemployment and decades of neoliberal policies. It's a must read for all those interested in education, the future, and good policy."
Danny Dorling, Oxford University
"Antonucci finds optimism in the politicization of students and a route away from mass debt and deception. Privately financed university schooling is a brand, not a good education.”
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