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Intergenerational transfer of occupational status in nineteenth century Zeeland, The Netherlands: A test of the influence of industrialisation, mass communication and urbanisation in 117 municipalities

Richard L. Zijdeman (Department of Sociology, ICS/Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 20 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to study the influence of industrialisation, urbanisation and means of communication on the association between father's and son's occupational status in all 117 municipalities in the province of Zeeland, The Netherlands from 1811 to 1890.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses from both the logic of industrialism thesis and reproduction theory are tested with multi‐level analyses on data on the individual as well as the contextual level. First, the paper studies the influence of contextual factors on intergenerational occupational status attainment. Second, it uses relatively large‐scale individual and contextual historical data over a long period of time.

Findings

The paper adds to the current literature by showing that the association of father's and son's occupational status differs between municipalities and over time and that these differences are partly explained by industrialisation, urbanisation and means of communication. All findings point in one direction, that the province of Zeeland became a more closed society in the nineteenth century. This finding goes against claims that the increasing openness in Dutch society, found after the Second World War, is a trend that came about with the rise of industrialisation.

Originality/value

The results provide support for the reproduction theory and they refute the logic of the industrialism thesis.

Keywords

Citation

Zijdeman, R.L. (2008), "Intergenerational transfer of occupational status in nineteenth century Zeeland, The Netherlands: A test of the influence of industrialisation, mass communication and urbanisation in 117 municipalities", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 28 No. 5/6, pp. 204-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330810881259

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited