Nine: The new mobility regime

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Data from the most recent survey are used to explore occupational class (NS-SeC) distributions, and intergenerational absolute and relative mobility flows between seven origins and seven destinations. While acknowledging the challenges in conceptualising and operationalising women’s social class, this evidence suggests broad similarities but clear, specific differences between male and female mobility. Mobility rates continue to be high overall, but with limited access to Class 1 (professionals and managers), in particular for women; limited escape from Class 7 (routine operatives); and a distinctive pattern for Class 4 (self-employed). The gender variations, arising from the gendered labour market, are related to gender differences in occupational transition. Evaluation of trends has to cautious, but no evidence of a reduction in mobility rates is found, and downward mobility seems to be increasing.

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