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SKOPE: New Directions of Research on Social Inequalities and Social Mobility

Starts: 28 June 2012

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Panel Discussion: Thursday 28 June 5.30-6.30pm, Committee Rooms (Glamorgan Building)
Reception: after the event in the same rooms at 6.30

The ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) present:

  • Donald J. Treiman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA);
  • Theodore P. Gerber, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison;
  • Phil Brown, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, Cardiff University (Discussant)


Education, Stratification and the Prospects for Social Mobility
will discuss why renewed policy interest in social mobility (especially in the UK) has ignored much of the existing sociological evidence. However, in arguing that sociological studies of social mobility and inequalities in life-chances have an important contribution to make to current policy debates, it is time to rethink some of the assumptions on which the 'class analysis' approach is premised. This involves rethinking the 'social structure of competition' at a time when the dominant experience of many people in developed economies is not one of 'social mobility' but living with the consequences of 'social congestion'.   The latter is an integral part of the study of social mobility which needs to be framed within a border analysis of social justice and the future of Western capitalism.

Radical Institutional Transformation and Inequality in Russia:  Change and Continuity Where We Least Expected
The radical, rapid market reforms and democratization in state socialist societies in the late 1980s and early 1990s provided researchers of inequality with a unique opportunity to study how changes in societies’ economic and political institutions affect patterns of social stratification. Gerber will present a framework for analyzing the effects of social change over time, which he will use to situate a range of empirical findings from his research during the last 15 years regarding how Russia’s institutional transformation did and did not lead to departures from prior patterns of socio-economic inequality.

Treiman’s comments will focus on cross-national and cross-temporal comparisons, which have been greatly facilitated by the creation of new data sets, including repeated cross-sections, panel studies, replications of surveys in other nations, and coordinated surveys conducted in many nations. He will provide examples of the kinds of analyses made possible by the creation of these data resources.

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SKOPE: New Directions of Research on Social Inequalities and Social Mobility


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Open To: Public