Does upward social mobility increase life satisfaction? A longitudinal analysis using British and Swiss panel data

Hadjar, Andreas and Samuel, Robin. (2015) Does upward social mobility increase life satisfaction? A longitudinal analysis using British and Swiss panel data. Research in social stratification and mobility, 39. pp. 48-58.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/43039/

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A main assumption of social production function theory is that status is a major determinant of subjective well-being (SWB). From the perspective of the dissociative hypothesis, however, upward social mobility may be linked to identity problems, distress, and reduced levels of SWB because upwardly mobile people lose their ties to their class of origin. In this paper, we examine whether or not one of these arguments holds. We employ the United Kingdom and Switzerland as case studies because both are linked to distinct notions regarding social inequality and upward mobility. Longitudinal multilevel analyses based on panel data (UK: BHPS, Switzerland: SHP) allow us to reconstruct individual trajectories of life satisfaction (as a cognitive component of SWB) along with events of intragenerational and intergenerational upward mobility-taking into account previous levels of life satisfaction, dynamic class membership, and well-studied determinants of SWB. Our results show some evidence for effects of social class and social mobility on well-being in the UK sample, while there are no such effects in the Swiss sample. The UK findings support the idea of dissociative effects in terms of a negative effect of intergenerational upward mobility on SWB.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Sozialforschung und Methodologie (Bergman)
UniBasel Contributors:Samuel, Robin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:11 Apr 2019 14:59
Deposited On:11 Apr 2019 14:59

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