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Fertility and Social Mobility Among Teachers

Wolf Scott
Population Studies
Vol. 11, No. 3 (Mar., 1958), pp. 251-261
DOI: 10.2307/2172530
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2172530
Page Count: 11
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Fertility and Social Mobility Among Teachers
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Abstract

Social mobility is defined as the teacher's present position in the professional hierarchy relative to his father's occupation, and fertility as the average number of children per married male teacher after 10 years of marriage. A sample of all male teachers in grant-earning schools in England and Wales was used for the study. The hypothesis examined is that put forward and tested in one form or another by numerous authors, that upward mobility is associated with relatively low fertility; and Berent's finding, that among persons of equal social status social origin is negatively correlated with size of family of procreation. The study of teachers fails to reveal any relation for either of the hypotheses. This also holds when account is taken of the wife's social origin and size of family of origin of the teacher. The latter analysis suggests, however, that this was a factor in the teacher's own rise in the social scale. The question remains why teachers do not conform to the national pattern shown to exist by Berent. It is argued that while teachers' social origin still affects their choice of marriage partner, its influence is gradually obliterated by the overriding and homogenising influence pattern of the teacher's life. This suggests that care must be exercised in applying a general finding to selected populations and calls for more detailed study of other occupational groups to explain the forces at work in the process of social mobility.

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