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Moving on?: a growth-curve analysis of occupational attainment and career progression patterns in West Germany
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (English)In: Social Forces, ISSN 0037-7732, E-ISSN 1534-7605, Vol. 92, no 4, 1285-1312 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we use multilevel growth-curve analysis to model occupational stratification across West German careers for cohorts born between 1919 and 1971. We argue that a life-course approach gives a more appropriate perspective into social stratification by focusing on the permanence of inequalities across human lives. With data from the German Life History Study (GLHS), our primary interest is in the amount and timing of career progression and the ways in which educational attainment, class background, and cohort context shape them. We confirm previous findings of limited career progression and permanence in occupational inequality. Thus, career mobility can correct for initial disadvantages only to a limited degree. We also confirm the strong role played by the standardized and stratified German educational system, which channels workers into specific occupations with strict boundaries. We find a substantial gross effect of class background, which is strongly mediated by educational attainment for women but not for men. We do not find any general indications of a trend in change across cohorts, although there are some weak indications that men who entered the labor market in the problematic 1970s had weaker career growth. We conclude by discussing the advantages of a life-course approach to occupational stratification and the possibilities of growth-curve analysis to answer pertinent questions in research on careers and occupational mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2014. Vol. 92, no 4, 1285-1312 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103397DOI: 10.1093/sf/sou002ISI: 000336411800003OAI: diva2:717167
Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-05-14 Last updated: 2014-07-07Bibliographically approved

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Härkönen, Juho
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