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The Intergenerational Social Mobility of Minority Ethnic Groups

Sociology , Volume 39 (3): 445 – Jul 1, 2005


Sage Publications
Copyright © 2005 by SAGE Publications
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The Intergenerational Social Mobility of Minority Ethnic Groups


This study examines the intergenerational social mobility of different ethnic groups in Britain between 1971 and 1991.The small body of previous research on intergenerational mobility and ethnicity in Britain has not distinguished between premigration and post-migration social class, and thus has been unable to relate findings directly to studies of intergenerational social mobility or to accounts of the changing class composition of different ethnic groups within Britain. This study, instead, focuses on social mobility between generations as it is experienced by different groups in the same country, over the same time period and over the same age range. Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Longitudinal Study, this study describes the different patterns of class mobility experienced by a single cohort of children aged 8-15 in 1971 from each of three ethnic groups: white non-migrants, Indians and Caribbeans. It finds that the impact of class origin varies with ethnicity. However, the impact of ethnicity is less salient in determining outcomes for women than it is for men.
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