9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS15 Rethinking intergenerational transmission of inequalities

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Changing Patterns of Inequalities Building II, C6.09

Young adults from medium size town in Poland-social mobility and inequality transmission from the life-course perspective

During last decades, social structures in Central and Eastern European countries, have been reshaped, both in consequence of systemic transformation and global processes. The criteria, under which individuals are ranked on the social ladder, and those, under which the segments are located in the social space, have been changing. These phenomena are accompanied by decomposition and re-composition of social status. Tendencies towards class closure which can be observed in today's Poland, reveal the diversity of life courses, resulting from mutual influence of the stratification process and institutional measures aimed at overcoming structural factors limiting life opportunities of individuals.
Numerous empirical studies in the field of social inequalities and social mobility, are focused on the wide category of people at working age, while both the effects of socio-economic transformation and change within the model of capitalism, are experienced in particular way by different age cohorts. Thus, the proposed paper will focus on presenting the selected factors influencing opportunities for social mobility of young adults between 25 and 29, whose life courses have been shaped under specific circumstances. The turning points in their educational, occupational and social biographies have taken place in the last two decades. What is more, they have been growing up in the region of Poland, which was particularly touched by the effects of macro-economic, political and social processes-deindustrialization, growth of structural unemployment and poverty.
The main body of the presentation will be based on survey and data collected in medium size town located in central Poland, under framework of PROFIT-international research project conducted under 7th Framework Programme of EU. The project was focused on intergenerational transmission of inequalities and policy responses to this phenomenon.
Analysis presented in the paper will be divided into two parts: intergenerational mobility study will mainly concern the strength and patterns of intergenerational inheritance of social position, and show who among young adults and to what extent bears the major costs (poverty, unemployment, threat of inequalities inheritance) of the systemic transformation . The analysis will trace down the social biographies of the young generation, whose lives hitherto, covered the period of the systemic transformation.