New book by Richard Breen: "Education and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Europe and the United States"
Posted: 14 Jan 2020

Education and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Europe and the United States
Richard Breen and Walter Müller (editors)

Stanford University Press
February 2020

This volume examines the role of education in shaping rates and patterns of intergenerational social mobility among men and women during the twentieth century. Focusing on the relationship between a person's social class and the social class of his or her parents, each chapter looks at a different country—the United States, Sweden, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. They find a striking similarity in trends across all countries, and in particular a contrast between the fortunes of people born up to the mid-1950s, who enjoyed increasing rates of upward mobility and a decline in the strength of the link between class origins and destinations, and later generations who experienced more downward mobility and little change in how origins and destinations are linked. This volume uncovers the factors that drove these shifts, revealing education as significant in promoting social openness. It will be an invaluable source for anyone who wants to understand the evolution of mobility and inequality in the contemporary world.

More information:

"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in educational policy and social mobility. This team of leading international scholars uses innovative comparative analysis to corroborate the claim that the expansion and equalization of education enhances mobility between social classes."
—Yossi Shavit, Tel Aviv University

Richard Breen is Professor of Sociology and Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

Walter Müller is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Mannheim University.

Richard Breen, Professor of Sociology, Fellow of Nuffield College