INTERGENERATIONAL CLASS MOBILITY IN POSTWAR NORWAY - A WEAKENING OF VERTICAL BARRIERS
European Sociological Review
Vol. 10, Nr. 3, Des 1994, side 273-288
This paper examines a set of seven tables that show the intergenerational social mobility of Norweigian men with respect to trends in relative mobility. The seven tables are constructed from the Norwegian Election Studies, a unique set of data covering a time-span of more than 30 years from 1957 to 1989. These tables are analysed by means of log-multiplicative and log-linear models in which relative social mobility is represented by parameters for class-specific immobility and scaled associated. The model selection process ends with slight preference for the best trend model over a model of stability in relative mobility. The former model displays stable immobility parameters, and shows a linear downward trend in the scaled association since 1965, with a deviant low value for 1957, whereas in the stability model, both the immobility and the scaled association parameters are stable in the time-period covered by the study. The observed trend in the scaled association parameters could also be seen as a part of a cyclical pattern, which may result if the scaled association should increase in the future. If the hypothesis of a trend towards greater openness is correct, it should be observed first among young people. Re-estimating the models for men 40 years or younger separately does suggest that the model with a negative linear trend comes out strengthened in terms of fit, but the scaled association parameters show more variation around the estimated trend line. In conclusion, the study indicates a tendency towards less rigidity in the class structure, captured by the negative trend in the scaled association since 1965. This tendency is not found for the immobility parameters, which seem to be quite stable over time. These conflicting results, together with the relatively good fit of a model of stability in social fluidity, may alternatively be interpreted as 'trendless fluctuations' in relative mobility.