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Family fortunes: The persisting grandparents' effects in contemporary British society

Zhang, Min and Li, Yaojun (2019) 'Family fortunes: The persisting grandparents' effects in contemporary British society.' Social Science Research, 77. 179 - 192. ISSN 0049-089X

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Abstract

This study examines grandparents' effects on grandchildren in contemporary British society. We begin with grandchildren's occupational aspiration in their adolescent years and move on to assess their educational and class attainment in adulthood. Using the British Household Panel Survey and the UK Household Longitudinal Study, we find persisting grandparental effects in all three domains even after controlling for parents' socio-economic-cultural resources and other demographic and contextual factors. In addition, we find that self-employed grandparents have a strong impact on grandsons' (albeit not on granddaughters') likelihood of engagement in self-employment, a pattern that holds true even when parents are not self-employed. Our study shows that grandparents' class still affects grandchildren's life chances in contemporary UK society just as earlier research showed for mid-20th century Britain and that the effects are manifested at different stages of the life course, from occupational aspiration as teenagers to educational attainment as young adults to occupational destination as adults.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Grandparents' effects, Class aspiration, Educational and occupational attainment, Self-employment, UK
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2018 10:00
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22924

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