Department of Sociology
New publication by Hjellbrekke and Korsnes

Circulation at the Top: Elites, Social Mobility and Intergenerational Capital Conversion

Despite calls for bridging the gap between the sociology of social class and the sociology of elites, there are few examples where this actually has been done. This article seeks to do so by applying approaches and statistical techniques commonly used in studies of social mobility in an analysis of circulation mobility in elite formations.

Stacks of coins of differeing height

Main content

Based on register data on the whole Norwegian population born 1955-1975, we analyze the educational and professional intergenerational mobility among “the successful inheritors”. In this way, and by focusing on mobility barriers and trajectories, we seek to uncover patterns of stability and change in family dynastic relations, i.e. relations that primarily are based on inherited forms of capital. These patterns can also reveal what forms of intergenerational capital conversion have been the most common, and therefore also the most acceptable, in the upper and upper middle classes in postwar Norway, and what conversions have been less common. The results indicate that even in the supposedly egalitarian Norwegian elites, some inheritors prove to be “more equal than others".


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