Intergenerational educational mobility over the past century in Canada
CANADIAN REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY-REVUE CANADIENNE DE SOCIOLOGIE
2021; 58 (3): 372-398
Young adults born at the end of the 20th century attend colleges and universities at much higher rates than did previous generations, which might give the impression of greater upward educational mobility and in turn, greater class mobility. This impression occurs, however, only because of structural expansion of the Canadian education system. In contrast to structural change, exchange mobility highlights the linkage between one's social origins and destinations. This speaks more directly to questions of equality of educational opportunity and social fairness. Greater fairness or social progress occurs when, over time, destinations become less contingent on origins. We examine intergenerational exchange mobility in Canada by investigating how, if at all, the linkage between parents' and their children's education has changed over the past century. We construct a longitudinal dataset covering the 20th century by merging fifteen cross-sectional surveys from Statistics Canada's General Social Survey (GSS) between 1986 and 2014. Comparing across synthetic birth cohorts we focus on transition probabilities, odds ratios, and logistic regression estimates to measure change. We contribute to a growing gap in the Canadian literature since social mobility has been largely neglected by sociologists as of late. We compare our results to recent findings of economists who examine intergenerational income mobility, another indicator of class mobility. Consistent with earlier sociological and economic research, our results show that despite the tremendous expansion of Canada's education systems, intergenerational exchange mobility for both women and men has been stagnant in Canada over the past century.
View details for DOI 10.1111/cars.12348
View details for Web of Science ID 000685107600006
View details for PubMedID 34397157