Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility by Daniel BertauxPathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility by Daniel Bertaux

Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility

byDaniel Bertaux, Paul Thompson

Hardcover | September 1, 1996

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Calling for a broader, new approach to social mobility research, Daniel Bertaux and Paul Thompson here move beyond pure statistics to use qualitative techniques - such as life stories and family case studies - to examine more closely the dynamics of mobility and address more fundamentalsociological questions. Up to now, the extensive sociological literature on mobility has been based around the survey method. As a result, we have access to abundant statistical data, but there is little information available to explain how and why people follow particular life paths. To overcome these limitations, theauthors have developed an alternative, complementary approach using life stories, case histories of whole families over several generations, or case studies of local communities. Employing the case-study approach does not prevent the identification of structural trends; on the contrary, it allowsus to analyse those collective processes through their local effects, restoring the links with the classics of sociological thought. The authors, together with a group of researchers who have worked closely with them, tackle problems such as: - What exactly is transmitted between generations: is it wealth or land, occupational models or skills, social networks, or values and orientations? - What kind of assets can immigrants draw on? - How can a social elite survive the upheaval of a popular revolution? - What is the impact of marriage on the mobility of men and women? - How far can belonging to one locality rather than another, or choosing a particular house, shape mobility paths and aspirations? - Do dreams of mobility matter?
Daniel Bertaux is Director of Research at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. Paul Thompson is Founder of the National Life Story Collection and Research Professor at The University of Essex.
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Title:Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social MobilityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.91 inPublished:September 1, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198279310

ISBN - 13:9780198279310

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Editorial Reviews

As an illustration of the potential value of qualitative approaches for revealing the dynamics and meanings of mobility, this is a useful and successful collection. - Andrew Miles. British Journal of Sociology. Spetember 1998.