Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mothers and the process of social stratification
by Korupp, Sylvia Elizabeth, Ph.D., Universiteit Utrecht (The Netherlands), 2000, 172; 3321333
Abstract (Summary)

In the past, the influence of the mothers' educational and occupational statuses on children's status attainment has been widely ignored in studies on social stratification. Usually only the father's socioeconomic status is used to indicate a family's socioeconomic position, because it is assumed that he holds the dominant status position in the household. As overall educational levels are rising and mothers' labour market participation is steadily increasing, this assumption no longer holds.

Adding the influence of the mother to the classical model of status attainment shows that the main conclusions of stratification research have to be altered in regard to the total extent of the impact of social origin. The mother's socioeconomic resources have always been an important additional source for the transfer of status advantages from one generation to the next. Over time, the impact of social origin on the education of children increasingly unfolds via the education of both parents and decreasingly via their occupational status. Considering that the average educational and occupational level of women is increasing, it is debatable in how far future studies will become more and more biased, if the influence of the mother's status background continues to be ignored.

The main difference is the mode of parental status transfer. In the past, studies on social stratification have often excluded the influence of the occupational status of the mother. By assumption, in the role of the main breadwinner, only the father's occupation was thought to be important for a family's status position. Although the logic behind the idea of status 'dominance' is appropriate, the rigidity of its application has been incorrect. Both parents' resources—whether or not the father is the breadwinner—are supplementary.

A same-sex role model holds for the first occupation of daughters and continues as a significant pattern throughout female careers. Within a couple of years after the daughter has entered the labour market, the influence of the mother on the daughter's career exceeds that of the father. Possibly a child implies that her mother has expert knowledge on questions regarding lifestyle, career opportunities and the like.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ganzeboom, Harry B., Lippe, Tanja van der, Sanders, Karin
School: Universiteit Utrecht (The Netherlands)
School Location: Netherlands
Source: DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Womens studies, Social structure
Keywords: Historica socia trends, Methodology, Mothers, Social inequality, Social stratification, Status attainment, Women's studies
Publication Number: 3321333
ISBN: 9789039323828
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