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The Unit of Analysis in Social Mobility Research: Bringing Time into the Analysis of Mobility Tables

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Authors
Kim, Byoung-Kwan
Issue Date
1994-12
Publisher
Population and Development Studies Center, Seoul National University
Citation
Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.23 No.2, pp. 229-255
Abstract
This paper focuses, first, on the conceptual flaws inherent in conventional "standard mobility tables." Standard mobility tables completely ignore the timing of social mobility, and cannot control for the sojourn time at each occupational event. They ignore the unfolding of diverse career paths in one's lifetime and over generations. Cumulative mobility tables, which lately have been lauded by some researchers as a cure for such flaws in standard mobility tables, also suffer from conceptual difficulty, in that they confuse person and event as a unit of analysis in mobility tables. The main argument in this paper is that in order to overcome such flaws, we should incorporate the dimension of time in mobility tables. As one conceptually sound and practically simple solution, the paper suggests constructing person-year mobility tables. Using life history data from Korean National Migration Survey, the paper compares the three kinds of mobility tables, and discusses the merits of analyzing person-year mobility tables within the broader context of dynamic models for social mobility study.
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/85241
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and SocietyKorea Journal of Population and Development Vol.23 No.1/2 (1994)
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