chapter  13
Pages 9

We have better evidence of occupational movement between generations. Contrary to popular belief, chances of social mobility have not much improved during the past hundred years. D. V.Glass’s 1949 national study, Social Mobility in Britain, found surprisingly slight differences between those born in each decade, even before 1900. Half the children born into each of his seven occupational groups could expect to move out of it; half the professional group had fathers from a lower class; more than half of the unskilled had fallen from a better start. Most of these moves were just a short distance up or down the scale. This picture is supported by A.L.Bowley’s surveys of five towns in 1915 and 1924, showing, for example, that under one in three labourers’ sons remained unskilled, and half rose to the skilled class; while their daughters were still more successful.