Social Mobility in Britain

Social class is the form of social inequality which is most consequential for individuals’ material well-being and, in turn, for a wide range of their life-chances and life-choices. We have published a series of briefing notes on this topic:

  1. The first, by John Goldthorpe and Anthony Heath addresses the following questions: a) how have chances of social ascent or descent changed over recent decades? and b) has educational reform been successful in making the process more open and less strongly linked to social class background? These are the questions that John Goldthorpe addressed in his lecture at the British Academy on March 15th (see video below). Download the briefing note: CSI 21: Social class mobility in modern Britain
  2. The second addresses the following questions: a) How do ethnic minority rates of mobility compare with those among the white British? b) Do patterns work differently for the 1st generation from later generations? c) Do we find greater gender differences in mobility chances among people of Pakistani or Bangladeshi background than among the white British? d) Does ethnicity trump class? Specifically, do class origins have lesser impact on the class destinations of minorities than they do for the majority?  Download the briefing note: CSI 22: Social mobility of ethnic minorities
  3. The third briefing note in this series focuses on educational attainment as the outcome of interest. We look at the relationship between parents’ and child’s education for two cohorts and ask whether the changes to the educational system influenced the intergenerational transmission of advantage. Download the briefing note here: CSI 25 Trends in educational mobility


John Goldthorpe’s lecture: