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Social Classes in Contemporary Sweden

Marvin E. Olsen
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Summer, 1974), pp. 323-340
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4105792
Page Count: 18
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Social Classes in Contemporary Sweden
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Abstract

Survey data from Gävle, Sweden, are examined to determine whether the three Swedish occupational groups reflect actual social classes. Analyses reveal that (a) occupational status is heavily influenced by educational attainment; (b) education and amount and source of income all differ significantly among the three social groups; (c) upward generational occupational mobility is largely restricted to the top two groups; (d) Sweden is generally perceived as having three social classes; (e) most persons in all three groups identify with Group II; and (f) Swedes in all social groups desire to increase economic and social equality. The argument is made that Sweden may indeed contain a three-class structure based primarily on occupation, but many Swedes view this structure largely in economic terms. Recent marked rises in income across all social classes in Sweden have therefore left most people relatively satisfied with their society.

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