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The price of the ticket revised: family members’ experiences of upward social mobility

Born, Anthony Miro (2023) The price of the ticket revised: family members’ experiences of upward social mobility. Sociological Review. ISSN 0038-0261

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00380261231167748


In recent years, there has been a revived sociological interest in assessing the lived experience of upward social mobility. Several qualitative accounts have highlighted the negative emotional imprints of upward mobility, whereas quantitative researchers have suggested that the picture is far more optimistic. However, both strands of literature rely too narrowly on the perspectives of the upwardly mobile individuals themselves. Against this empirical strategy, which is expressed in recent works on upward social mobility, this article turns attention on the family members of those who experienced upward mobility. Drawing on biographical interviews with upwardly mobile individuals and their family members, the article explores, firstly, the participants’ diverging experiences and assessments of upward mobility, and secondly, how the process affects not only the emotional life of the upwardly mobile individuals themselves, but also of those who are commonly seen as having been ‘left behind’. In doing so, the article shows that including the voices of family members can refocus social mobility research on the wider psycho-social costs and consequences of what are often portrayed as stories of individual ‘success’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author.
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2023 14:45
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 21:09

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