Title

Is Mexico the limiting case? Social mobility in the new gilded age

Document Type

Working paper

Source Publication

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality Working Papers

Publication Date

9-1-2013

Publisher

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University

Keywords

Income and Wealth, Social Mobility

Abstract

How rigid can modern societies get? Are there any contemporary societies that approach caste-like levels of social reproduction? These questions, simple though they may seem, cannot be directly answered on the basis of the available evidence on class mobility. The main impetus for posing them is the startlingly high levels of income inequality that appear to be part and parcel of the late-industrial condition within much of the Americas, much of Asia, and even some of Europe. If extremely high inequality is a relatively common feature of the contemporary condition, it's important to ask whether extremely high reproduction, even seemingly caste-like levels, tends to coexist with that extreme inequality. Because cross-national research on class mobility has been Eurocentric in focus, and because Europe may be a "social democratic zone" of relatively high fluidity, it is altogether possible that we have a more benign understanding of contemporary social fluidity than we should. We take on that question here by examining patterns of social mobility within a country, Mexico, that by most measures is more unequal than any other affluent country in the world.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

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Recommended Citation

Huerta-Wong, J. E., Burak, E., & Grusky, D. B. (2013). Is Mexico the limiting case? Social mobility in the new gilded age (Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality Working Papers). Stanford: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University. Retrieved from http://web.stanford.edu/group/scspi/_media/working_papers/huerta-wong_burak_grusky_mexico-mobility.pdf