Accueil > English Supplement > Volume 50, Supplement 1 > How to compare “subjective” and “objective” mobility - D. Merlié

How to compare “subjective” and “objective” mobility - D. Merlié

Dominique Merllié
Centre de sociologie européenne, université de Paris-VIII, 54, boulevard Raspail, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France

Available online 17 September 2008 on ScienceDirect

Methods for analyzing objective social mobility and social mobility as perceived by individuals are reviewed in connection with two studies of these types of mobility based on two surveys : the “Trois Générations” survey conducted by the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse (CNAV), France’s state pension office, and INSEE’s Formation-Qualification Professionnelle survey (FQP) (Institut National de Statistique et des Études Économiques). Subjective mobility is formalized quite differently in the two surveys, but so is objective mobility, which was formalized using specific procedures to make it comparable with respondents’ subjective assessments. The present research note proposes a method for comparing the two sorts of mobility using standard mobility tables. When tables crossing three variables (social origins, social destinations, and average subjective mobility score) are used, the spontaneous sociology that collectively emerges from individual responses turns out to be not very different from scholarly sociology of social categories. After showing that subjective mobility varies coherently with objective mobility, an additional hypothesis is put forward to account for some of the observed discrepancies.

Keywords : Mobility tables ; Objective mobility ; Subjective mobility ; Social origins ; Social destinations ; France

Article Outline

  • 1. How “subjective” mobility is defined in the two surveys
  • 2. How “objective” mobility is measured in the two articles
  • 3. Fitting together social origins, social destinations and opinions
  • 4. Four tables
  • 5. Observation scales
  • Appendix
  • References

Sociologie du Travail
Volume 50, Supplement 1, December 2008, Pages e50–e65
Transation Amy Jacobs