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Mobility, Intergenerational and Intragenerational

Wout Ultee

Subject Sociology » Stratification and Inequality

Key-Topics mobility

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


In Social Mobility (1927) Sorokin attempted to ascertain for early twentieth-century western societies like England, France, Germany, Italy, and the US the extent to which “the occupational status of a father determines that of his children,” as well as “the intensiveness of interoccupational shifting within the life of one generation.” Later, these two phenomena were called intergenerational mobility and intragenerational mobility. Behind this distinction lurks the casual observation or conventional wisdom that, whereas in agrarian societies with autocratic or oligarchic rule the transmission of occupation from father to son along the whole range of occupations is strong, in democratic industrial societies people may work their way up the social ladder during the course of their lives. Because of issues concerning the comparability of data, Sorokin could do no more than suggest that intergenerational inheritance was never fully complete nor fully absent, leaving questions about differences between countries in intergenerational mobility and intragenerational mobility to future generations of sociologists. The first comparison of father-son mobility across the line between blue-collar and white-collar jobs was that of Lipset and Bendix (1959) . It pertained to Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US in the first decade after World ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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