Gender Differences in Class Mobility: A Comparative Study of the United States, Sweden, and West Germany
This study examines gender differences in intergenerational class mobility in the United States, Sweden and West Germany, using data from the Comparative Project on Class Structure and Class Consciousness. Our analysis has shown that when women's class is defined based on their own work status, class inheritance is much weaker among women than men in the United States. German women have a weaker association between origin and destination than their male counterparts, which, to a large extent, reflects a tendency for downward movement into the working class among German women. Of the three countries, Sweden exhibited the fewest gender differences in class fluidity. When comparing married women's work mobility with that of married men, we found no gender differences in the United States, but much more fluidity among German and Swedish women. Married women are more mobile, both upward and downward, than are men, but in general, marriage improves women's upward mobility chances.