Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility (Hardback)
  • Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility (Hardback)
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Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility (Hardback)

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£112.50
Hardback 344 Pages / Published: 16/01/1997
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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 fundamental sociological 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, the authors 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 allows us 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?

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198279310
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 524 g
Dimensions: 225 x 144 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The many studies make poetic and insightful reading about family trajectories through changing circumstances and hardships, but also about the capacity of cultural and material resources to reinvent themselves to continue to serve, mostly those that already have. The iron-law of social reproduction is reaffirmed, but with new twists and with the parameters for maneuver within it widened ... This book passionately presents a set of stories rich in both structural analysis and personal compassion. Methodology, like the study of identity, should not be couched in the straight jacket of a discourse of 'either - or', but in a more open and ultimately more enlightening and tolerant logic of 'both - and'. This book is a testament not only to how difficult it is to carry out that project in practice, but also to how worthwhile it is to try. * Stina Lyon, European Sociological Association Conference *
... this book is different. Tables and log-linear models are out; life histories and family charts are in. The collective pieces share a commitment to the value of a qualitative approach to the study of social mobility. The range of contributions is very wide ... as this volume amply demonstrates, there is much for quantitative researchers to learn from qualitative studies. * Kenneth Prandy, Sociology Vol.31 No.3, 1997 *
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.

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