Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Scott R. Eliason
Mobility research analyzes the influence of social background on educational and occupational attainment. It is generally agreed that occupational mobility is conditional on educational attainment and social background. The research here presented reanalyzes this relationship with special interest to educational attainment. The analysis is conducted using RC-association, models which have not been used in the research of social mobility at all. After a short introduction to the topic, the educational systems of Germany and the United States are presented indicating the formal structure of the institutions, years of schooling possible, and credentials. Second, a theoretical framework is developed using features of human capital theory, status attainment theory, dual labor market theory, and Weber's theory of social closure. Third, findings of the statistical analysis are presented separately for each country and then in comparative perspective. Fourth, the final part of the paper discusses high school tracking as an informal process to restrict access to higher education. Two distinct patterns between father's occupation and respondent's occupation have emerged from the data. These patterns are similar for both countries, indicating that similar underlying processes take place. Social closure as indicated by levels of self-recruitment are relatively strong in both countries, while processes of social mobility are weaker in the United States. Overall, mobility rates are slightly higher for Germany than the United States.
Copyright 2000 Andrea Gabriele Mueller