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Is Occupational Mobility Declining in the U.S.?

Steven Rytina
Social Forces
Vol. 78, No. 4 (Jun., 2000), pp. 1227-1276
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3006174
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3006174
Page Count: 50
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Is Occupational Mobility Declining in the U.S.?
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Abstract

Occupational mobility trend is compared using SSIC versus Prestige and SEI scales. A preliminary survey of what occupational scales measure leads to a contrast between older, normative scales and a norm-independent conception of occupational dominance. Dominance may be assessed by three convergent algorithms that assess relative rank by taking averages over origins and destinations. These are shown, to a good approximation, to be averages over advantage, no matter how advantage is indexed. Data from the OCGII and subsequent NORC General Social Survey are analyzed. The dominance results replicate as consistent contrasts with SEI. Trend is summarized as nondecreasing and quite possibly increasing intergenerational rigidity. Tentative evidence of a big shake-up after 1986 is presented. The declining role of education in access to rank and as mediator of ascription is described.

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