Despite becoming a big issue in public debate, social mobility is one of the most misunderstood processes of our time. In this accessible and engaging text, Geoff Payne, one of Britain’s leading mobility analysts, presents up-to-date sociological research evidence to demonstrate how our politicians have not grasped the ways in which mobility works. The new social mobility argues for considering a wider range of dimensions of mobility and life chances, notably the workings of the labour market, to assess more accurately the causes and consequences of mobility as social and political processes. Bringing together a range of literature and research, it covers key themes of mobility analysis, and offers a critical and original approach to social mobility. This important book will challenge the well-established opinions of politicians, pressure groups, the press, academics and the public; it is also sufficiently comprehensive to be suitable for teaching and of interest to a broad academic audience.
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.
to the proportion of the recent labour force who have experienced
intergenerational ‘absolute’ mobility, up or down, across seven occupational
classes in England and Wales. It is ‘intergenerational’ because it compares
two successive generations. ‘Absolute’ social mobility is the total
number of people who have directly experienced mobility. It treats
the movement between any two classes initially as equally significant,
whether the moves are between adjacent classes or across the whole
hierarchy. To be more precise, mobility is here being calculated by