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Family migration and social stratification

Vernon Gayle (Department of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK)
Paul Boyle and Robin Flowerdew (School of Geography and Geosciences, St Andrews University, St Andrews, UK)
Andrew Cullis (Institute of Education, London University, London, UK)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between family migration (i.e. couples with or without children moving home) and social stratification in Britain. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of family migration on social stratification using contemporary large‐scale nationally representative data.


The paper investigates data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). This is a nationally representative large‐scale longitudinal dataset which tracks a panel of British households and collects interview data annually.


The paper found a weak relationship between moving house and employment status. Long‐distance migration had a different effect for males and females when prior employment was considered. There was not relationship between migration and female occupational position, but a small effect for men when the move was for reasons related to their own employment. Generally, migration had a positive effect on the family's social class position.

Practical implications

The paper illustrates that longitudinal data are highly beneficial for analyses of family migration as they provide a temporal location for the move.


This is an original set of analyses of contemporary large‐scale nationally representative longitudinal data.



Gayle, V., Boyle, P., Flowerdew, R. and Cullis, A. (2008), "Family migration and social stratification", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 28 No. 7/8, pp. 293-303.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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