Structural Mobility

Structural Mobility - U.S. became industrialized, the...

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Structural Mobility How fluid is the U.S. class-structure? Structural mobility occurs when the economic status of people changes as a result of structural changes in the economy. The argument is sometimes made that the U.S. has a very fluid class-structure. Many families have improved their class position over the past 100 years in the U.S. Does this mean that the U.S. has a fluid class structure or does something else explain the apparent successes that people have with regards to improvements in their well-being? When the structure itself changes, everyone's position changes. Structural change is an important explanation for much of the recent improvement in the financial well being of many in American society. As the
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Unformatted text preview: U.S. became industrialized, the occupational structure itself was transformed. Children, therefore, could not stay in the same occupational position as their parents. a. The Changing Labor Structure In 1900 17.9 percent of all laborers positions were white collar. By 1979 50.9 percent of all jobs were in the white-collar sector. The percentage of people doing farm work on the other hand declined from 37.6 in 1900 to 2.8 percent in 1979. Children must, therefore, take jobs in sectors of the economy other than that which their parents worked in (From Charon, 1986:326)....
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