The American Opportunity Study: A Link to the Past and a Bridge to the Future
C. Matthew Snipp, Stanford University
David B. Grusky, Stanford University
Timothy M. Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A comprehensive study of social mobility in the United States has not been done since the landmark 1973 survey Occupational Changes in a Generation-II, a follow-up to the Blau and Duncan survey a decade earlier. Since 1973, the United States has changed profoundly with respect to economic re-structuring, family and household organization, immigration,women's labor force participation, and a host of other ways connected to social and economic well-being.Under the auspices of the NRC and with support from NSF, a group of sociologists and economists have been meeting to discuss the design of a new study of social mobility. The design that has emerged from these discussions exceeds the scope of a single survey and promises to offer a panoramic view of American society never before possible and one that will enable new lines of inquiry about social change in American society in addition to updating our knowledge about social mobility.