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Occupational Mobility of Black Men: 1962 to 1973

Michael Hout
American Sociological Review
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Jun., 1984), pp. 308-322
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095276
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Occupational Mobility of Black Men: 1962 to 1973
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Abstract

William Julius Wilson argues that the gains in employment and occupational status that blacks made during the 1960s bred class cleavages that did not exist within the black population prior to 1960. This paper presents a new analysis of data on inter- and intragenerational mobility of black men from the OCG surveys of 1962 and 1973 that supports Wilson's argument. Three important class effects of the type hypothesized by Wilson are found. First, class effects on intragenerational mobility between 1962 and 1973 were significant for blacks; these class effects were similar to class effects among whites. Second, class differences in intergenerational mobility increased between 1962 and 1973. Finally, upward mobility between 1962 and 1973 was greatest among men from the most advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. The analysis also reveals an important role for public-sector employment in both occupational upgrading among black men and the emergence of class cleavages within the black population. The public sector provided more high- and middle-status occupations for black men than did the private sector. On the other hand, the public sector was more selective in recruiting blacks from middle class and skilled manual backgrounds than was the private sector.

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