In the sociologicalliterature for social mobility, I assume that inequality that is lasting andpassing down to generations, intergenerational relations as a mechanism toexplain lasting inequality is significant in analyzing how inequalities insocial realm can be possible, how social stratification among social groups interms of their class, ethnicity, race, age and gender can pass down togenerations and make them have been alive for years.
Besides the othersdynamics behind social inequality like contributions of institutions like laws,economy, policy, education and so forth, intergenerational mobility havecrucially influence on lasting inequality. In my paper, I argue that accessingeducation is not equal for all social groups and secondly education itself makethis inequality maintain and intergenerational transmission of socioeconomicstanding which means social position of a family pas down to their children is oneof the main cause of continued inequality for education, so I will try toexamine high level education access from different social groups in terms ofclass and compare and contrast France, Germany and USA by looking at thechildren of different social groups in accessing education, I will connectintergenerational mobility effects on inequality among families from differentclass positions. To make my argument strong, I will comprise my data fromsociological literature and use theories from old sociologists to base upon themto my argumentation. Introduction Many scholars are interested in effects offamilies on their children and they have done so much researches about familyinfluence on behavior, status and social positions of individuals who are roseup by their parents. However, this kind of perspective on generationreproduction neglects elder generation effects and other mechanisms had an impacton family reproduction and children coming from this families for microperspective on individuals. Besides just focusing on nuclear families, individuals,parent-child relationships on reproduction of generations and effects of micro-institutionson children, their social position and status on society, multigenerationalresearches suggests that so many generations are associated with each other, sowe need to go beyond to study only families but also older generation and nextgeneration to correlate their relations on individuals. Therefore, it may beinadequate to focus on one generation to see the next generation’s socialmobility, indeed intergenerational mobility of generations and their socialpositions require to study grandparent effects and transmission fromgrandparent to parent and parent to children. This approach on social mobilityestablishes bridges for grandparent and grandchildren in terms of transmissionof grandparent’s position to grandchildren (Mare, 2011).
According to threegenerational social mobility researches, grandchildren’s social positions aredirectly affected by grandparents’ social positions except for parent effectson their offspring. Indeed, social mobility patterns for two generations suchas parent-child pair can have same patterns for three generational social classmobility and grandparent’s social class can be transmitted to next twogeneration, to their grandchildren and for Hertel and Samberg (2013), grandparent’sresources and their social class position can be impact on their grandchildrenas mechanisms for three generational social mobility. Firstly, grandparent’sresources which can have social, cultural and economic dimensions, may have animpact on grandchildren’s social class and educational achievement,independently from mediation of parents. For instance, inheritance fromgrandparents can be directly transferred to grandchildren and it could beeconomic capital for high level education like getting degree from private collegesand by this way economic capital of grandparents can be both resource for economicand cultural capital to grandchildren. Moreover, cultural capital as secondresource of grandparents can have an influence on grandchildren’s futuredecisions, skills, knowledge and academic positions. That is why grandparentaleffect on children indicates that three generational social mobility can bepossible and grandparents also have an impact on transmission of resources tothe children apart from nuclear family (Hertel and Samberg 2013).
Secondly,class position of grandparents can be reference frame to understandintergenerational social mobility. From multigenerational class mobilityapproach, grandparental effect on class position can be significant andreference frame for both parent and grandchildren. Class that determines socialpositions in public place might be transferred to generations from oldergenerations. Social and cultural reproduction theory of Bourdieu asserts that societiesshould be studied as systems of cultural and economic productions since theycan exist by producing cultural and economic capitals and the next generationscan be able to survive with this produced symbolic, social, economic andcultural capitals (Nash, 1990). Bourdieu uses the term habitus to analyze inequality and cultural power upon lower classesand he says that habitus as a propertyof social groups or institutions can help to shape this group’s present and thefuture practices or moves which means that is way or tendency of thinking andacting. Our habitus makes us to thinkand move and habitus can beunderstood as a tool to explain implicit rules dictating our behaviors,decisions, practices that are structured by socially.
Social classes as socialfact structures habitus, from thisperspective, for instance, lower class adults might be tend to get workingclass jobs whereas middle-upper class kids tend to choose private and/or highlevel universities (Maton, 2008). Apart from habitus, he explains different forms of capitals helped tounderstand social stratification and inequality between different socialclasses such as economic and cultural capital more importantly. Forms ofcapitals differ in different social classes, economic capital can obviouslydiffer that split the classes because of unequal income distribution, butcultural capital like being familiar with particular, not all, kind ofliterature as reader, hanging out certain places, taking coffee with aDostoyevski book and so on shows your cultural capital and he claims that culturalcapital can vary from social class to another one. For future decisions,academic life, business environment and all cultural practices that are shapedby joint of habitus and cultural capitalwill put individuals/groups/institutions in a certain position and socialstructure of society can be established with reproduction of difference. Bourdieu’sperspective of cultural theory of power and social reproduction are obviouslyassociated with intergenerational social mobility of inequality since thisapproach is able to explain cultural and economic transmission as a significantprocess for intergenerational family reproduction (Nash, 1990). I assume thatinequality of income characterizing social classes in terms of economicdimension and educational attainment to high level universities or colleges areassociated with each other and intergenerational transmission of sources fromolder generations to next generation make this inequality alive.
Economic andcultural resources of the families including grandparental effects could bepassed down to grandchildren and educational attainment can differ acrossdifferent social classes. First of all, accessing higher education can differin diversified class positions transmitted grandchildren from grandparent inmultigenerational way. Economic-oriented social classes based on income fromgrandparents to parents and parents to children have an important reason whyaccessing higher education is not equal for every single individual. Accordingto Great Gatsby Curve using variety of tools to measure intergenerationalmobility and income inequality from cross-nationally comparable data, financialresources play significant role in accessing education and there is strongrelation between income inequality and intergenerational mobility.
That is tosay, inequality from parents can exist and pass down to next generationaccording to some scholars as well as they shows that parental education haveimpact on their offspring’s future earnings ( Jerrim and Macmillan, 2014). Further,individuals get income from their assets like capitals, skills and networksfrom family. Forms of capital that I mentioned before as a remarkable dynamicpassing down to generations and reproduced are fact for earning or getting ajob in a certain position like education of parents as well as grandparents,their social capital referred to strong networks or affiliation between some individuals,institutions and groups as symbolic capital affect children’s future positionin academy, business environment (Perez-Arce, Amaral, Huang and Price). Forinstance, admission to one of the Ivy League Universities have multigenerational effects since a studentfrom a family whose parents did not get degree from one of these universitiesbut his/her grandfather attended one ofthem before, has high level of getting admission to be a part of these IvyLeague colleges (Mare, 2011).
In order to cover all approaches related withintergenerational mobility, resource transmission from generations to followinggenerations, inequality and finally education attainment of the children, Iassert that accessing the high level education is not equal for children fromdifferent socioeconomic backgrounds. This is because, transmitted resourcesthat can be income transmission or wealth such as inheritance from grandparentsor parents to children, cultural capital making children have certain kind ofskills, knowledge regarding their cultural capital level and class surely andsocial capital included networks, social ties between groups, individuals andinstitutions making children accessing education more easily because of gettingto know by social connections, matter parents and grandparents, indeed those children born from relatively wealthieror poorer families do not have same opportunity to achieve same positions withdifferent children from different social classes. This linkages ensure tocorrelate transmission of resources containing income and even skills andinequality of opportunity with intergenerational class mobility (Perez-Arce,Amaral, Huang and Price, 2016). Children’s occupational skills, educationallevel, decisions about academic life, status and even neighborhood could betransmitted from family, parents or in three generational approach includinggrandparents, all are might have been determined already independently fromchildren because of effects of structural effects of families’ socioeconomicposition in society since tendencies for actions for further life arestructured from structures like family and so, inequality of opportunity, inaccessing high level education, can pass down to next generations and intergenerationalclass mobility can be a mechanism for lasting inequality. That I why parents orgrandparents matter for children future life. Data and Method I compromise my data from literature to see therelation between intergenerational mobility and inequality in accessingeducation. In order to provide this connection, I had covered 10 differentarticles related with intergenerational social mobility, three generational socialclass mobility, transmission of income, inequality of opportunity, incomeinequality and education.
Moreover, I have tried to make my argument strongerby basing upon a theory from Bourdieu which is social and cultural reproduction.This theory id extremely significant to relate my argumentation withintergenerational class mobility and inequality for education. Fromsociological literature for intergenerational relations in life course, I willexamine some related examples from cross-national data including incometransmission, micro-class mobility, inequality of opportunity for both two andthree generational perspective in order to analyze parental and grandparentaleffects. Specifically, I will try to explain and analyze Germany for income/wealth/capitaltransmission to next generation and differential opportunity for education andwhether or in what extend accessing education can differ for children fromdifferent social classes in Germany. Further, I will compare this with USA byfollowing the same patterns.
Apart from data, I am doing secondary researchanalysis to create my research paper which means that I will use articles writtenbefore my paper. By this methodology, I planning to generate my research paperwith significant and related thoughts from sociological literature aboutintergenerational social mobility and inequality in accessing education. Germany case on intergenerationaltransmission of education Some studies of multigenerational relationsand mobility on educational attainment in cross-national analysis indicate thatin some extend grandparents can play crucial role in transmission of resourcesto children even though majority of studies claim that there is no netgrandparental effects on children for educational attainment or occupational decisionsand class mobility rather than transmission from parents. However, for Germanycase, besides Hertel and Groh-Samberg’s research on three generational socialmobility (2014), Andrea Ziefle shows empirical evidence for Germany ongrandparental effects for the further generations. She argues that grandparentsas members of extended family’ resources in indirectly way and caregiving, disciplinefor children’s homework and other kinds of social support that could be done byparents can follow the same patterns for grandparents who provide direct andindirect cultural, economic, social resources for their grandchildren exceptfor just nuclear family.
In the some extend that nuclear family or parents’lack of sources for educational attainment or occupational aspirations,grandparents can have a role in take on transmission of education advantage andresources make this advantage possible (Ziefle, 2016). According to her study,if current generation respondents means children from downwardly mobile parentsare succeeded in school rather than others from same level of parentaleducation, grandparents can have an impact on transmitted cultural resourcesthrough parent and refers that children can get benefit or advantage fromfamily that has generated relatively rich academic environment. This studyshows downward educational mobility in both East and West Germany (Ziefle,2016).