With a Little Help from My Aunts? The Role of Extended Family in Intergenerational Social Mobility Patterns

Tim Mueller, Institute for Futures Studies
Thomas U. Grund, Institute for Futures Studies

Research on intergenerational social mobility patterns–that is individuals’ upward, downward or non-mobility on the social ladder in comparison to their parents’ social class– has a longstanding tradition within sociological research. More recently, there has been a growing interest in a multigenerational perspective within this context. Our study moves beyond existing research designs, draws on Swedish register data and ESeC classes of extended kin. We run a series of multinomial logistic regressions with an individual’s current class position as outcome variable. As predictors we include father’s class position, father’s and mother’s education levels, individual’s age and finally the class position of aunts and uncles. We predict individuals’ probability to end up in a particular class taking into account class of origin as well as the class positions of extended family members. Our findings reveal that aunts’ and uncles’ class does significantly affect someone’s class position even when controlling for origin class and parental education.

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Presented in Session 160: Multi-Generational Effects on Economic and Education Outcomes