Ascription and Achievement

Ascription and Achievement: Studies in Mobility and Status Attainment in Canada

Monica Boyd
John Goyder
Frank E. Jones
Hugh A. McRoberts
Peter C. Pineo
John Porter
Copyright Date: 1985
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  • Book Info
    Ascription and Achievement
    Book Description:

    studies in mobility and status attainment in Canada.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8104-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Introduction: The Canadian Mobility Study; Approaches and Procedures
    (pp. 1-28)

    The association between the social location of parents and offspring and the processes of status transmission from one generation to another are the central issues explored in this book. These are not new issues. In one form or another and in varying degrees of centrality, they have long intrigued social analysts of often sharply divergent ideological positions (see Goldthorpe, 1980). As a consequence, considerable diversity exists in studies of social inheritance, and its analogue social mobility, with respect to questions asked, theoretical frameworks employed, and methods of analysis.

    From its inception, the Canadian Mobility Study was designed to parallel the...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Canada: The Societal Context of Occupational Allocation
    (pp. 29-66)

    Occupational mobility, or occupational attainment, the process which we are seeking to analyse in this study, takes place within an established social order. Social order implies a relatively stable and persistent set of arrangements through which the major tasks and essential needs of the society are met. The configuration of a social order, or a social structure, is made up of the major institutional sub-orders, such as: the economy, which organizes the production and distribution of a society’s material goods, that is, its wealth; the polity, which provides the mechanisms for controlling, coordinating, and directing people and the groups...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Mobility and Attainment in Canada: The Effects of Origin
    (pp. 67-100)

    It is obvious, in our society, and for that matter virtually every other society, that those who have the fortune to be well born will have a distinct advantage over those who were not so fortunate. Further, it is equally obvious as a consequence of this, that by and large the circumstances of offspring will be little different from those of their parents. However, what is less clear is the extent to which this inheritance of the parental lot occurs, the extent to which different groups in society vary in the degree to which it occurs, and how the transmission...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Educational and Occupational Attainment: Individual Achievement
    (pp. 101-162)

    The focus of the traditional approach to the analysis of occupational mobility or to occupational attainment is on the tension between the relative influence of ascribed and achieved resources of individuals. Thus, earlier studies (Glass, 1954; Rogoff, 1953) seeking to measure mobility in terms of departures from statistical independence of fathers’ and sons’ occupations, sought to eliminate or to control the effects of the marginal distributions of fathers’ and sons’ occupations, that is, what is now referred to as structural mobility. Although more recent analyses (Blau and Duncan, 1967; Duncan, Featherman, and Duncan, 1972; Featherman and Hauser, 1978; Hauseret...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Comparisons over Time
    (pp. 163-200)

    The preceding chapters have reported data on the overall mobility, and forms of status attainment, experienced by a sample of adult Canadians. This aggregated mobility biography mixes all the historical contingencies that might have been important for Canadians of different ages. Someone entering the labour market during the depressed conditions of the early 1930s perhaps encountered a market-wide pressure toward downward inter-generational mobility. One commencing a career in the 1950s may have benefited from a labour market pressure towards upward mobility. Such historical effects are now to be addressed.

    A good deal of ingenuity has been expended over the years...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Family Size and Status Attainment
    (pp. 201-228)

    Ascribed characteristics, such as ethnicity or race, are assigned to individuals at birth, and it is most frequently the family into which one is born which determines them. In this sense, the family is the source of ascribed statuses, and insofar as the study of status attainment has at its root the investigation of the differential effects of ascription and achievement, much of the whole endeavour can be said to deal with “family factors.” In this section, however, we use the term in a much more restricted sense, to refer to the actual structural characteristics of the family. That is,...

  10. CHAPTER 7 Educational and Occupational Attainments of Native-Born Canadian Men and Women
    (pp. 229-296)

    This statement emerges from the more general neglect of women in North American sociology (Millman and Kanter, 1977). Summarizing the growing frustration with the sociological relegation of women to the area of marriage and the family, Acker extended the earlier writings of Watson and Barth (1964) by challenging the assumption that women were irrelevant in the area of stratification aside from their family roles and their marital status.

    Acker’s challenge was timely in two respects. First, the general societal expectation that a woman’s place was in the home (see Cook and Mitchinson, 1976) was increasingly divergent from the pattern of...

  11. CHAPTER 8 Occupational Mobility among Women
    (pp. 297-334)

    The distinction, noted in Chapter 2, between occupational status attainment and occupational mobility analysis is particularly pertinent to the study of sexual stratification. The preceding chapter compared models of status attainment for the two sexes. Such an approach, it was seen, allows a simultaneous accounting of the relative importance to each sex of a full range of social background variables germane to occupational achievement. The present chapter compares occupational mobility among men and women. A major conceptual distinction between the mobility and attainment approaches concerns the scaling of occupation. Scales of SES, the previous chapter noted, capture only one dimensions...

  12. CHAPTER 9 Language and Mobility: A Comparison of Three Groups
    (pp. 335-356)

    In the previous two chapters Boyd and Goyder have examined the differences between men and women with respect to the process of status attainment and occupational mobility. In this chapter we shall focus on the division of Canadian society by language. While, as later chapters will show, there are other important divisions within Canadian society, the division along the lines of language, in particular French and English, is one which is fundamental to our very make-up as a nation. Indeed, as a nation in which two languages are officially recognized, Canada, while not unique, is a rarity amongst nations. Hence,...

  13. CHAPTER 10 Ethnic Origin and Occupational Attainment
    (pp. 357-392)

    Canada has, throughout its history, been a society with large numbers of immigrants. We have indicated in Chapter 2 the great variety of places from where these immigrants have and continue to come, and in Chapter 11 we show something of the costs and benefits in terms of occupational mobility of being an immigrant in contemporary Canada. Here we explore what costs and benefits to the individual might arise from the ethnic pluralism which has been created by earlier generations of immigrants. As we have indicated in our review of Canadian social structure, Canada is a society in which...

  14. CHAPTER 11 Immigration and Occupational Attainment in Canada
    (pp. 393-446)

    My dear Father: I thank God I am got to the land of liberty and plenty. I arrived here on the 9th July. I had not a single shilling left when I got here. But I met with good friends that took me in, and I went to work at 6s. per day and my board on to this day. And now I am going to work on my own farm of 50 acres, which I bought at £55, and I have 5 years to pay it in . . . . I am going to build me a house...

  15. CHAPTER 12 Nativity: Further Considerations
    (pp. 447-478)

    For a society where immigration is assumed to be an important factor in its development, a comparison of the educational and occupational attainment of those who were born in Canada and those who emigrated here provides valuable information. As there is a persistent interest in the adjustment of those who come to Canada, the educational and occupational attainments of native-born Canadians can provide criteria, albeit arbitrary, for such an assessment. As the presence of immigrants in sufficient numbers may also provoke prejudice and discrimination, it is obviously important to compare, on a factual basis, the successes of immigrants and native-born...

  16. CHAPTER 13 Internal Migration and Occupational Attainment
    (pp. 479-512)

    Since economic development is now, and presumably always will be, somewhat uneven across different parts of the country, some flow of internal migration to adjust labour supply to demand seems a permanent requirement of Canada as well as all other industrialized nations. The effects of such migrations upon individuals and ultimately upon the structure of the society pose a series of questions of interest to sociologists; in this chapter we concentrate upon one consequence of migration, asking about the extent to which migration is rewarded by giving increased occupational status to the migrant. If labour mobility benefits the whole society...

  17. CHAPTER 14 A Summary and Concluding Comments
    (pp. 513-528)
    MONICA BOYD, John C. Goyder, FRANK E. JONES, Hugh A. McRoberts and PETER C. PINEO

    Mobility surveys, the above passage suggests, have become “normal science” (Kuhn, 1962) in sociology. Further evidence that such research is now fully institutionalized is found in the increasing tendency for books on social indicators to include chapters on mobility surveys (e.g., Sheldon and Moore, 1968; Land and Spilerman, 1975). To routinize the collection of mobility surveys is not, as we shall emphasize later, to denigrate their importance to social theory. It is because the amount of mobility and form of status attainment in a society is a fundamental component of social structure that collecting such data is important.

    The early...

  18. APPENDIX 1:1
    (pp. 529-536)
  19. Appendix 1:2
    (pp. 537-540)