This chapter provides context for the analysis that follows, including to define the City of London and the roles which comprise its ‘top jobs’, and introduce key debates including its role in driving steep inequalities of income and wealth, controversies surrounding social mobility and myths of merit, and how these factors relate. It also introduces the theoretical framework that provides the structure for the book, showing how Bourdieusian and Weberian approaches to social class are combined with neo-institutional theory to explain how labour markets reproduce inequalities while simultaneously helping to affirm hierarchies of occupational status. Finally, it outlines the book’s contribution to recent academic debates, introduces the data on which it is based, and considers questions of confidentiality, ethics, including as they relate to and the author’s own background and position.
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