From mother to daughter: changes in intergenerational educational and occupational mobility in Germany

by Alessandra Minello & Hans-Peter Blossfeld

in International Studies in Sociology of Education, Volume 24, Issue 1 (2014)
Special Issue: Gender Analysis of Education in 21st century capitalist societies

Recent decades have seen a dramatic expansion in the educational attainment and occupational opportunities of German women. Both the educational and occupational positions of the mothers and those of their daughters are continuously changing across cohorts. Our study aims to detect the probability of daughters to experience maternal-line intergenerational educational and occupational mobility. Using new data from the National Educational Panel Study of adult cohorts, we analyse successive cohorts of German women born between 1944 and 1984. We demonstrate that the relation between mothers’ and daughters’ educational and occupational career has changed over time. Maternal-line female mobility has decreased over cohorts. Our results also reveal that the relationship between educational careers and female job mobility has changed. The tertiary level of education has become more relevant across cohorts in preventing downward intergenerational mobility and it has become a prerequisite for taking part in the completion for upward intergenerational mobility.


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