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Beyond the Parental Generation: The Influence of Grandfathers and Great-grandfathers on Status Attainment

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ABSTRACT

Studies on intergenerational social mobility usually examine the extent to which social positions of one generation determine the social positions of the next. This study investigates whether the persistence of inequality can be expected to stretch over more than two generations. Using a multigenerational version of GENLIAS, a large-scale database containing information from digitized Dutch marriage certificates during 1812–1922, this study describes and explains the influence of grandfathers and great-grandfathers on the occupational status attainment of 119,662 men in the Netherlands during industrialization. Multilevel regression models show that both grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s status influence the status attainment of men, after fathers and uncles are taken into account. Whereas the influence of the father and uncles decreases over time, that of the grandfather and great-grandfather remains stable. The results further suggest that grandfathers influence their grandsons through contact but also without being in contact with them. Although the gain in terms of explained variance from using a multigenerational model is moderate, leaving out the influence of the extended family considerably misrepresents the influence of the family on status attainment.

No MeSH data available.


Influence of status of fathers, grandfathers, and uncles over time
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Fig4: Influence of status of fathers, grandfathers, and uncles over time

Mentions: In line with the modernization thesis and previous findings, the effect of the father decreased during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (b1100 = –0.014 per 10 years; p < .001; see Model 6 in Table 3). A new finding, again consistent with modernization theory, is that the effect of uncles, too, decreased during modernization (b1200 = –0.012 per 10 years; p < .01). I expected that the expanding role of grandfathers in the lives of their grandsons compensated for the effect of modernization (see H4). Indeed, the effect of the grandfather did not decrease but remained constant (b1010 = –0.000, n.s.). Figure 4 graphs the changes in the (extended) family effects. The influence of the father’s occupational status is approximately 0.6 for men who married in 1854 and approximately 0.5 for men who married in 1922, which shows a decrease of 16.7 % in 67 years. The influence of the uncles reduced by almost one-half (0.09) of what it was (0.17). When the effects of the father, grandfather, and uncles were summed, the family influence decreased 18.3 %, from 0.93 in 1854 to 0.76 in 1922.11Fig. 4


Beyond the Parental Generation: The Influence of Grandfathers and Great-grandfathers on Status Attainment
Influence of status of fathers, grandfathers, and uncles over time
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5016555&req=5

Fig4: Influence of status of fathers, grandfathers, and uncles over time
Mentions: In line with the modernization thesis and previous findings, the effect of the father decreased during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (b1100 = –0.014 per 10 years; p < .001; see Model 6 in Table 3). A new finding, again consistent with modernization theory, is that the effect of uncles, too, decreased during modernization (b1200 = –0.012 per 10 years; p < .01). I expected that the expanding role of grandfathers in the lives of their grandsons compensated for the effect of modernization (see H4). Indeed, the effect of the grandfather did not decrease but remained constant (b1010 = –0.000, n.s.). Figure 4 graphs the changes in the (extended) family effects. The influence of the father’s occupational status is approximately 0.6 for men who married in 1854 and approximately 0.5 for men who married in 1922, which shows a decrease of 16.7 % in 67 years. The influence of the uncles reduced by almost one-half (0.09) of what it was (0.17). When the effects of the father, grandfather, and uncles were summed, the family influence decreased 18.3 %, from 0.93 in 1854 to 0.76 in 1922.11Fig. 4

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Studies on intergenerational social mobility usually examine the extent to which social positions of one generation determine the social positions of the next. This study investigates whether the persistence of inequality can be expected to stretch over more than two generations. Using a multigenerational version of GENLIAS, a large-scale database containing information from digitized Dutch marriage certificates during 1812&ndash;1922, this study describes and explains the influence of grandfathers and great-grandfathers on the occupational status attainment of 119,662 men in the Netherlands during industrialization. Multilevel regression models show that both grandfather&rsquo;s and great-grandfather&rsquo;s status influence the status attainment of men, after fathers and uncles are taken into account. Whereas the influence of the father and uncles decreases over time, that of the grandfather and great-grandfather remains stable. The results further suggest that grandfathers influence their grandsons through contact but also without being in contact with them. Although the gain in terms of explained variance from using a multigenerational model is moderate, leaving out the influence of the extended family considerably misrepresents the influence of the family on status attainment.

No MeSH data available.