Escaping Origins

  • Mary Eagleton
Chapter

Abstract

For the clever girls of the 1950s and 1960s, getting to university and escaping their origins is the route to upward mobility. This chapter considers novels by Andrea Newman, Margaret Drabble and Barbara Trapido. The protagonists in Drabble’s and Trapido’s work seek a new, enabling family that will be the conduit to a more rewarding life. Employing the work of Steph Lawler on narratives of women’s upward mobility and Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of capital and habitus, Chap.  2 examines how the protagonists supplement their educational capital with the social and cultural capital of their new families; how they struggle both to understand and to enact the processes of social mobility; and how their habitus is challenged. Though the fiction gestures towards some resolution with origins, the new social position is hard won and any slippage back has to be guarded against.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Eagleton
    • 1
  1. 1.YorkUK

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