Who’s your daddy? A comparison of intergenerational mobility of socioeconomic status for sons and daughters

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Drake, Angela
Wright, David W.

Intergenerational mobility is of interest to social scientists, in part due to the persistence of the quest for the “American Dream”. Intergenerational mobility is a gauge of the opportunities each group has to increase their privilege, class, and income. In addition, it helps researchers understand the way our society creates class structures. Many studies have addressed intergenerational mobility, focusing on socioeconomic status (socioeconomic status) of fathers and its effect on their sons. Other studies have looked at father’s effect on son’s and daughter’s occupational mobility, but the effect of father’s socioeconomic status on daughter’s socioeconomic status has been overlooked thus far. This study examined the intergenerational mobility of socioeconomic status and if there are differences in the transmission of father’s socioeconomic status to their sons and daughters. Secondary data analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979-2002) was used for the analysis. A model was created in order to examine three sets of relevant theories: individual, structural, and gender-level. Univariate, bivariate and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were utilized for analysis. Bivariate analysis shows that sons have higher socioeconomic status than daughters. OLS regression results indicate that father’s socioeconomic status has a positive effect on children’s socioeconomic status, net of other factors, but no statistical difference was found between sons and daughters.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Sociology