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Published: 27 March 1997

344 Pages | 7 line illus.

ISBN: 9780198279310

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (06)

Pathways to Social Class

A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility

Daniel Bertaux and Paul Thompson
With contributions by Rudolf Andorka, Isabelle Bertaux-Wiame, Giovanni Contini, Brian Elliott, Mike Savage, and David Vincent

Calling for a newer and broader approach to social mobility research, Daniel Bertaux and Paul Thompson--with contributions from several able researchers--move beyond pure statistics to employ qualitative techniques, such as life stories and family case studies, to examine more closely the dynamics of mobility and explore more thoroughly the fundamental questions of sociology.

Until now, the extensive sociological literature on mobility has been largely based on the survey method. So, although we have enjoyed access to an abundance of statistical data, there has been little information available on why and how people follow particular life paths.

This book combines the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative research methods to address such questions as:

What exactly is transmitted between generations in a given social class--is it wealth or land, occupational models or skills, social networks, or values and orientations?

What kinds of assets can immigrants draw on?

How can a social elite survive the upheaval of a popular revolution?

How does marriage change the social mobility of men and women?

To what extent can one locality (or house or home) shape mobility paths and aspirations?

In what way(s) do dreams of mobility matter?

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