Marita Jacob, Felix Weiss
Class origin and young adults' re-enrollment

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2011: 29, issue 4, pp. 415-426
ISSN: 0276-5624

This paper examines re-enrollment decisions taken by adults who have previously participated in the labor market in the US. We investigate the influence of social origin on re-enrollment and test hypotheses based on the “status reproduction” argument. We find that young adults from the lower classes re-enroll less often than those from the upper classes and that these differences can be attributed to a large extend to different ability or performance. Beyond the effects of social origin as such, we also scrutinize the effects of the child's class position relative to family status as a more direct implication of the “status reproduction” argument. Our analyses reveal that once young adults from higher status positions have reached their parents’ class, re-enrollment is somewhat less likely to occur. However, this effect of the child's relative class to the parents’ is rather weak.