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Social Class Mobility in Comparative Perspective: Bringing Siblings In

Project description

Why siblings end up with different social class positions

How come some siblings from the same family end up in different social class positions? This is a question that has yet to be fully answered by sociologists. The EU-funded SIBMOB project will conduct a large-scale comparative study to review the class mobility of siblings. It will provide a novel statistical approach to analysing these family types. Specifically, it will identify how class mobility is generated and why societies differ in their class mobility patterns. It will furnish sociologists with a widely applicable statistical approach to such analysis, including describing how and explaining why they differ both within and between countries. The project will apply its novel approach to data on siblings born during the 20th century in 10 countries.

Objective

While sociologists studying how social class positions are passed on from parents to children emphasize the family as the basic theoretical unit of intergenerational transmission processes, the comparative literature on social class mobility has paid no attention to how and why siblings from the same family end up in the same or in different classes. Indeed, all existing class mobility studies examine the mobility of individuals, thereby neglecting the key question of how societal differences in class mobility patterns result from social processes operating at the level of families.

SIBMOB will fill this puzzling gap in the class mobility literature by developing a comprehensive approach to and conducting a large-scale comparative study of the class mobility of siblings. The project argues that insofar as we want to understand how class mobility is generated and why societies differ in their class mobility patterns, the total pattern of class mobility in a society needs to be viewed as a sum of different types of families with distinct class mobility patterns. SIBMOB offers a novel statistical approach to analyzing these family types, including describing how and explaining why they differ both within and between countries. The project hypothesizes that cross-national and temporal variation in class mobility results from institutional and sociodemographic factors affecting families’ overall mobility opportunities in a given society. In a comparative study, the project will apply its novel approach to data on siblings born during the 20th century in 10 countries to test this and related hypotheses about why countries, or different birth cohorts within countries, differ in their overall class mobility patterns.

Key outcomes of SIBMOB will be a deeper understanding of families’ role in mobility processes, a comprehensive statistical methodology with wide applicability, and new comparative evidence on class mobility that is much richer than the existing evidence.

Host institution

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 1 478 601,00
Address
NORREGADE 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Denmark

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Region
Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 478 601,00

Beneficiaries (1)