Moving on up? How social origins shape geographic mobility within Britain’s higher managerial and professional occupations

Hecht, K. & McArthur, D. (2022) Sociology, 0(0), [ONS LS]

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This article presents the first longitudinal analysis of social and geographic mobility into Britain’s higher managerial and professional occupations. Using linked census records from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, we find that those from advantaged social origins are substantially more likely to make long-distance residential moves, implying that geographic mobility is a correlate of advantaged social origins rather than a determinant of an advantaged adult class position. Among higher managers and professionals, those with advantaged backgrounds lived in more affluent areas as children than those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This ‘area gap’ persists during adulthood: when the upwardly mobile move, they are unable to close the gap to their peers with privileged backgrounds in terms of the affluence of the areas they live in: they face a moving target. Geographic advantage, and disadvantage, thus lingers with individuals, even if they move.

Available online: Sociology,
Output from project: 1013211


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