Generation, ethnicity, and occupational opportunity in late 19th century America

N. S. Landale, A. M. Guest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the influence of generation and country of origin on occupational mobility between 1880 and 1900 among a sample of US white men. Father-to-son mobility is examined for males 5 to 14yr old in 1880, and career mobility is analyzed for men aged 25 to 34 in the same year. While generation and national-origin groups clearly differed in their occupational distributions at each date, we find minimal evidence of differences in overall opportunities or in the relationship between occupational origins and destinations. Thus, on the whole, generation and country of origin appear to have had little influence on the mobility process in the late 1800s. There is some evidence that the men in our sample, who were overwhelmingly of Northern and Western European heritage, gained occupationally from the incipient flow of migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican sociological review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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