Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01This Is My Truth20160425

01This Is My Truth20160425

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

"Changing class is like emigrating from one side of the world to the other, where you have to rescind your old passport, learn a new language and make gargantuan efforts if you are not to completely lose touch with the people and habits of your old life, even if they are the relationships and things that are dearest to your heart."

Class is a subject we're all aware of but rarely talk about - aside from the insidious line that 'we're all middle class now'. Hanley examines class aspiration and social mobility through the lens of her own life; providing a fascinating insight into what it took to leave her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, and make her way against the odds through sixth form college, university and on into the world of professional journalism.

Received wisdom tells us social mobility is an unequivocally positive phenomenon, for individuals and for society. Yet changing class can be a lonely, anxious, psychologically disruptive process, which leaves people divided between the place they left and the place they have to inhabit in order to get on.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

01This Is My Truth20160425

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

Changing class is like emigrating from one side of the world to the other, where you have to rescind your old passport, learn a new language and make gargantuan efforts if you are not to completely lose touch with the people and habits of your old life, even if they are the relationships and things that are dearest to your heart.

Class is a subject we're all aware of but rarely talk about - aside from the insidious line that 'we're all middle class now'. Hanley examines class aspiration and social mobility through the lens of her own life; providing a fascinating insight into what it took to leave her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, and make her way against the odds through sixth form college, university and on into the world of professional journalism.

Received wisdom tells us social mobility is an unequivocally positive phenomenon, for individuals and for society. Yet changing class can be a lonely, anxious, psychologically disruptive process, which leaves people divided between the place they left and the place they have to inhabit in order to get on.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

01This Is My Truth2016042520160426 (R4)

Lynsey Hanley explores the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

02Respectable in the Eighties20160426

02Respectable in the Eighties20160426

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

"I can draw an outline of the landscape that shaped us with words such as Nice biscuits, pornography, underpasses, 2p bus fares."

Hanley's childhood spanned the 1980s; when she discovered early on the joys and consolations of music, and gained political awareness by observing the ways in which different newspapers covered the Miners' Strike.

She offers a fascinating insight into what it took to leave her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, and make her way against the odds through sixth form college, university and on into the world of professional journalism.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

02Respectable in the Eighties20160426

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

I can draw an outline of the landscape that shaped us with words such as Nice biscuits, pornography, underpasses, 2p bus fares.

Hanley's childhood spanned the 1980s; when she discovered early on the joys and consolations of music, and gained political awareness by observing the ways in which different newspapers covered the Miners' Strike.

She offers a fascinating insight into what it took to leave her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, and make her way against the odds through sixth form college, university and on into the world of professional journalism.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

02Respectable in the Eighties2016042620160427 (R4)

Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in 1980s Britain.

03Respectable in the Nineties20160427

03Respectable in the Nineties2016042720160428 (R4)

Journalist Lynsey Hanley explores class aspiration and social mobility in 1990s Britain.

03Respectable in the Nineties20160427

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

Growing up in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, she found school to be a mostly disappointing experience. Instead, she found solace in the local library and gained knowledge through the pages of music magazines and broadsheet newspapers.

"Getting hold of the NME for the first time was one of the best investments in my future cultural capital I could have made: another of those threads I'd grabbed unwittingly, making a connection between the world I lived in and another world of which I was barely aware."

Hanley struggled with the move from comprehensive school to a well-regarded suburban sixth-form college and had to fight the urge to drop out. Received wisdom tells us social mobility is an unequivocally positive phenomenon, for individuals and for society. Yet changing class can be a lonely, anxious, psychologically disruptive process, which leaves people divided between the place they left and the place they have to inhabit in order to get on.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

03Respectable in the Nineties20160427

Journalist Lynsey Hanley's personal exploration of the experience of class in Britain over the past four decades.

Growing up in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, she found school to be a mostly disappointing experience. Instead, she found solace in the local library and gained knowledge through the pages of music magazines and broadsheet newspapers.

Getting hold of the NME for the first time was one of the best investments in my future cultural capital I could have made: another of those threads I'd grabbed unwittingly, making a connection between the world I lived in and another world of which I was barely aware.

Hanley struggled with the move from comprehensive school to a well-regarded suburban sixth-form college and had to fight the urge to drop out. Received wisdom tells us social mobility is an unequivocally positive phenomenon, for individuals and for society. Yet changing class can be a lonely, anxious, psychologically disruptive process, which leaves people divided between the place they left and the place they have to inhabit in order to get on.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

04Snakes and Ladders20160428

04Snakes and Ladders2016042820160429 (R4)

Lynsey Hanley explores how class affects students' university choices and future potential

04Snakes and Ladders20160428

Lynsey Hanley explores the experience of class and social mobility in Britain over the past four decades. She provides a personal insight into the psychological cost of leaving her working-class upbringing behind to pursue further education; moving from her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, to sixth-form college, to university and on to a career in journalism.

In this episode, Hanley looks at the process of applying for university - and of how many students make educational decisions based on their backgrounds: 'old' universities for the middle-class, 'new' for the working-class, limiting potential advantages for the latter.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

05Who's Respectable Now?20160429

05Who's Respectable Now?2016042920160430 (R4)

Journalist Lynsey Hanley examines the divisive notion that we are all middle class now.

05Who's Respectable Now?20160429

Lynsey Hanley explores the experience of class and social mobility in Britain over the past four decades. She offers a personal insight into the psychological cost of leaving her working-class upbringing behind; moving from her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, to sixth-form college, to university and on to a career in journalism.

In this final episode, she looks at the divisive notion, encouraged by politicians of all parties over the past two decades, that we're all middle-class now.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

05Who's Respectable Now?2016042920160430 (R4)

Lynsey Hanley explores the experience of class and social mobility in Britain over the past four decades. She offers a personal insight into the psychological cost of leaving her working-class upbringing behind; moving from her home in Chelmsley Wood, a vast council estate near Birmingham, to sixth-form college, to university and on to a career in journalism.

In this final episode, she looks at the divisive notion, encouraged by politicians of all parties over the past two decades, that we're all middle-class now.

Written and read by Lynsey Hanley.

Abridged by Sian Preece.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Journalist Lynsey Hanley examines the divisive notion that we are all middle class now.