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The pattern of social fluidity within the British class structure: a topological model

Bukodi, Erzsébet, Goldthorpe, John H. and Kuha, Jouni ORCID: 0000-0002-1156-8465 (2017) The pattern of social fluidity within the British class structure: a topological model. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society, 180 (3). pp. 841-862. ISSN 0964-1998

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Identification Number: 10.1111/rssa.12234


It has previously been shown that across three British birth cohorts, relative rates of intergenerational social class mobility have remained at an essentially constant level among men and also among women who have worked only full-time. We aim now to establish the pattern of this prevailing level of social fluidity and its sources and to determine whether it too persists over time, and to bring out its implications for inequalities in relative mobility chances. We develop a parsimonious model for the log odds ratios which express the associations between individuals’ class origins and destinations. This model is derived from a topological model that comprises three kinds of readily interpretable binary characteristics and eight effects in all, each of which does, or does not, apply to particular cells of the mobility table: i.e. effects of class hierarchy, class inheritance and status affinity. Results show that the pattern as well as the level of social fluidity is essentially unchanged across the cohorts; that gender differences in this prevailing pattern are limited; and that marked differences in the degree of inequality in relative mobility chances arise with long-range transitions where inheritance effects are reinforced by hierarchy effects that are not offset by status affinity effects.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Royal Statistical Society
Divisions: Statistics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 11:12
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 08:25

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