Book

Social Mobility in Europe

Edited by Richard Breen

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780199258451
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601491 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199258457.001.0001
Social Mobility in Europe

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The study of social mobility is concerned with the relationship between the class position an individual occupies and the class into which he or she was born. This book analyses social mobility in 11 European countries–Britain, France, Ireland, West Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Hungary, and Israel–over the last 30 years of the twentieth century. We find that, during this period, countries converged in the shape of their class structure and in their patterns of social mobility. But as far as inequalities between people from different class origins in their access to better class positions are concerned, we could see no trends towards international convergence or divergence. We did, however, find a general decline in the strength of these inequalities in several countries, most notably in France and the Netherlands. Britain, however, along with Germany, proved to be an exception: here inequalities seem to have changed little, if at all, during the last years of the twentieth century. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy, for the future study of intergenerational inequality, and for the main theories that have hitherto guided mobility research.

Keywords: absolute mobility; Europe; inequality; intergenerational mobility; social class; social fluidity

Book.  420 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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Table of Contents

The Italian Mobility Regime: 1985–97 in Social Mobility in Europe

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Social Mobility in Norway 1973–95 in Social Mobility in Europe

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