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The ‘Hidden Mechanisms’ That Help Those Born Rich to Excel in Elite Jobs
by Joe Pinsker
Posted December 21, 2019

glass ceilingWhen two sociologists interviewed highly paid architects, TV producers, actors, and accountants, they encountered work cultures that favor the already affluent.

Over the past five years, the sociologists Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman have uncovered a striking, consistent pattern in data about England’s workforce: Not only are people born into working-class families far less likely than those born wealthy to get an elite job—but they also, on average, earn 16 percent less in the same fields of work.

The authors describe a series of “hidden mechanisms”—such as unwritten codes of office behavior and informal systems of professional advancement—that benefit the already affluent while disadvantaging those with working-class backgrounds. More…