Numerous studies on social stratification and mobility have shown that the effects of social origin (parents’ socioeconomic characteristics) influence social destination (offspring’s socioeconomic attainments). However, some studies have claimed that a person’s field of study within the various levels of education is also associated with their social destination.
Although the high school system in Japan is highly stratified, there has been little research into the mechanism of generational reproduction focusing on a person’s educational major. In Japan, the field of study in the secondary education system corresponds with a person’s employment classification. Therefore, the EGP (Erikson-Goldthorpe-Portocarero) class scheme, which has been used in social stratification research, can be associated with people’s secondary education major.
This study discusses the mechanism of intergenerational reproduction partially mediated by the major undertaken in secondary education using the concept of social class. The data used in this study are taken from the Social Stratification and Social Mobility Surveys. We applied conditional multinomial logistic regression analysis because this statistical method is suitable for analyzing both class structure and continuous covariates.
The results indicate that one of the causes of intergenerational reproduction is an association between social class origin and the major undertaken in secondary education. Specifically, the mediation of intergenerational class reproduction by education does not correspond to the hierarchical association between class and major, but rather to the industrial similarity between social class and major. In other words, education reproduces class structure through the employment classification similarity between social class and major.