Intergenerational Educational Mobility in the Comprehensive Danish Welfare State: Testing the Primacy of Non-monetary Social Origin Effects
The aim of this paper is investigate the extent to which monetary and non-monetary social background factors explain intergenerational educational attainment in Denmark. The main hypothesis tested is that non-monetary social background factors (cultural, social, and cognitive parental resources) are particularly important relative to economic factors within the institutional context of the comprehensive and highly redistributive Danish welfare state. Drawing on the notion of ‘capital’ by Pierre Bourdieu and a longitudinal Danish data set, we find that parental economic capital is of little importance in explaining educational outcomes, while different non-monetary social background resources, and especially cultural capital, are very important. Our findings then indicate that a particular Scandinavian institutional “mobility regime” may exist in which educational inequalities are predominantly generated by non-monetary forms of stratification. Several suggestions for future research are also discussed.
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