Stability, transformation, and escalation: Norwegian classes and class boundaries 2008–2020
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Original versionIn: Class Boundaries in Europe: The Bourdieusian Approach in Perspective https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003223863
Norway is considered to be one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. But even though egalitarian perceptions have been dominant over the last 20 years, class inequalities have either remained stable or been on the rise. Relative class mobility rates display a high degree of inter-cohort stability, and at the very top, the reproduction of economic inequalities has increased. Wealth accumulation is clearly linked to class inequalities, and over the last ten years the mean income for the top 1% has increased more in Norway than it has in the United States. Class inequalities also persist in higher education. The probabilities of attaining a master’s degree vary strongly by class origin, and three out of four university students have parents with higher education. Lifestyles are also structured along class lines, with symbolic boundary drawing often taking place in subtle but nevertheless classed ways. While a majority of Norwegians think of their society as egalitarian, class inequalities are thus not only real, they may also be accelerating.
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