Gender and Class Mobility: Evidence from the Republic of Ireland. Published in Sociology, 1995, Vol 29 No 1
Christopher T. Whelan
Gender has consistently been identified as the most controversial issue confronting class analysis. In this paper we make use of data from the Republic of Ireland to asses the extent to witch the incorporation of women into class mobility analyses requires us to alter our understanding of the basic processes involved. When we focus on women's employment mobility we find that the sole source of greater variation in mobility chances is differences in the objective opportunity structures faced by men and women. There is non evidence of class/gender interaction. Similarly marriage and labour markets involve almost identical underlying processes. Differences in the underlying patterns of social fluidity between mobility tables that include only men and those also including women are extremely modest. This fundamental similarity indicates that, in the Irish case, subtantial changes in levels of labour force participation by married women have had a negligible effect on the underlying process of class mobility.
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