Chapter

Equality at a Halt? Social Mobility in Sweden, 1976–99

Jan O. Jonsson

in Social Mobility in Europe

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780199258451
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601491 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199258457.003.0009
 Equality at a Halt? Social Mobility in Sweden, 1976–99

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Social structural change has meant that ‘higher’ social classes–primarily, the service classes–have increased in numbers during the last 25 years in Sweden, while the working class has decreased. Total social mobility between generations has, however, changed rather little. The only trend that can be discerned is that the share of vertical to non-vertical moves has increased over time, particularly that women’s upward mobility has increased. Relative social mobility, or social fluidity, has not changed overall for men, though the advantage to an upper service class origin appears to have diminished somewhat. For women, however, there is increasing social fluidity across the board. This increase took place at the end of the 1980s and stabilized thereafter. One plausible process behind this is a decreasing association between class of origin and educational attainment, probably acting through cohort replacement.

Keywords: educational attainment; social fluidity; social inequality; social mobility; social reproduction; Sweden

Chapter.  10004 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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