Zygmunt Bauman*1 “Downward mobility is now a reality” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/31/downward-mobility-europe-young-people
After several decades of rising expectations, the present-day newcomers to adult life confront expectations falling – and much too steeply and abruptly for any hope of a gentle and safe descent. If there was bright light at the end of the tunnels their predecessors passed through, there is now a long, dark tunnel stretching behind every one of the few flickering, fast fading lights trying in vain to pierce through the gloom. With prospects of long-term unemployment and long stretches of "rubbish jobs" well below their skills and expectations, this is the first postwar generation facing the prospect of downward mobility.
The youngsters of the generation now entering the so-called "labour market" have been groomed and honed to believe that their life task is to outshoot and leave behind the parental success stories, and that such a task is fully within their capacity. However far their parents have reached, they will reach further. Nothing has prepared them for the arrival of the hard, uninviting and inhospitable new world of downgrading of results, devaluation of earned value, volatility of jobs and stubbornness of joblessness, transience of prospects and durability of defeats, stillborn projects and frustrated hopes and chances ever more conspicuous by their absence. The higher they looked, the more deceived and downtrodden they would feel.
その帰結としての社会不安。”One lesson to be learned from the recent uprisings in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, is that a long-suffering group of highly educated but underemployed people can be the catalyst for long overdue societal change.”（William D. Cohan）*2。また世代間の連帯を基礎として存立している社会保障制度の危機*3。
The past few decades were times of unbound expansion of all and any forms of higher education and of an unstoppable rise in the size of student cohorts. A university degree promised plum jobs, prosperity and glory: a volume of rewards steadily rising to match the steadily expanding ranks of degree holders. That temptation was all but impossible to resist. Now, however, the throngs of the seduced are turning wholesale into the crowds of the frustrated.
A high-class diploma from a high-class university was for many years the best investment loving parents could make into their children's future. Or at least it was believed to be such. That belief is now being shattered. The labour market for holders of higher education credentials is currently shrinking – faster even than the market for those lacking university qualifications. Nowadays, it is not just people failing to make the right kind of effort and the right kind of sacrifice who find the gates being shut in their face; those who did everything they believed to be necessary for success are finding themselves in much the same predicament.
Social promotion through education, portrayed in glowing colours under the name of meritocracy, served for many decades as a fig leaf for naked inequality of human conditions and prospects: as long as academic achievements correlated with handsome social rewards, people who failed to climb up the social ladder had only themselves to blame – and only themselves on whom to unload bitterness and wrath.
ところで、 William D. Cohan氏は米国における学歴による収入の差について、
And there is no question that higher education, or a degree from a top college or university, is linked to earnings potential. According to the latest available statistics from the Department of Education, the median salary of male college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 in this country was $55,000 in 2008 and has been rising slightly over time. On the other hand, the median annual compensation for male high-school graduates in 2008 was $32,000, down considerably from $44,200 in 1980. That’s a wide discrepancy, which only increases as people get older and rise into senior corporate jobs.
*1:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100712/1278948575 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110108/1294418139 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110816/1313466911
*2:“Degrees of Influence?” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/degrees-of-influence/
*3:Louis Chauvel “Les jeunes sont mal partis” http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2011/01/03/les-jeunes-sont-mal-partis_1460368_3232.html
*6:例えば「博識の市民」になろうぜ！ とか。See eg. http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090808/1249741839 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091120/1258746079 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100303/1267593384