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Social Mobility in Europe$
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Richard Breen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199258457.001.0001

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Equality at a Halt? Social Mobility in Sweden, 1976–99

Equality at a Halt? Social Mobility in Sweden, 1976–99

(p.225) 9 Equality at a Halt? Social Mobility in Sweden, 1976–99
Social Mobility in Europe

Jan O. Jonsson

Oxford University Press

Social structural change has meant that ‘higher’ social classes–primarily, the service classes–have increased in numbers during the last 25 years in Sweden, while the working class has decreased. Total social mobility between generations has, however, changed rather little. The only trend that can be discerned is that the share of vertical to non-vertical moves has increased over time, particularly that women’s upward mobility has increased. Relative social mobility, or social fluidity, has not changed overall for men, though the advantage to an upper service class origin appears to have diminished somewhat. For women, however, there is increasing social fluidity across the board. This increase took place at the end of the 1980s and stabilized thereafter. One plausible process behind this is a decreasing association between class of origin and educational attainment, probably acting through cohort replacement.

Keywords:   educational attainment, social fluidity, social inequality, social mobility, social reproduction, Sweden

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