GENDER AND CLASS MOBILITY - EVIDENCE FROM THE REPUBLIC-OF-IRELAND

R BREEN, C T WHELAN

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    Abstract

    Gender has frequently been identified as the most controversial issue confronting class analysis. In this paper we make use of data from the Republic of Ireland to assess the extent to which the incorporation of women in class mobility analysis alters our understanding of the central processes of social mobility. We find that for married women their husband's class is a more powerful predictor of household poverty and life-style than their own 'class' as indicated by current or previous occupation. With regard to employment mobility we find that the sole source of gender variation in mobility chances relates to differences in the objective opportunity structures faced by men and women. Applying a measured variable model to 'men only' and 'complete' mobility tables reveals only modest differences in the patterns of social fluidity. The inclusion of women in class mobility tables requires little in the way of substantial modification of our understanding of the pattern of class relationships underlying the observed pattern of mobility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-22
    Number of pages22
    JournalSociology
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995

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