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Gabriel Brea-Martinez . Foto

Gabriel Brea-Martinez


Gabriel Brea-Martinez . Foto

Windows of opportunity for status attainment in Southern Europe: family impact and industrialization on the individual career in Catalonia (nineteenth and twentieth centuries)


  • Joana-Maria Pujadas_Mora
  • Gabriel Brea Martinez
  • Miquel Valls-Figols
  • Anna Cabré

Summary, in English

Resum:The role of the family in both individual social status attainment and labor careers during industrialization was questioned by the Modernization theory. Accordingly, familial nuclearization was argued to be one of the causes. However, little has been said on this topic regarding societies in which stem or joint families were important as in the case of Southern Europe. This article studies the industrialization effects on the familial influence for the individuals' social destinations and labor career progressions on cohorts born between 1860 and 1909 in Catalonia in an area of early industrialization and fertility decline, through the Sant Feliu de Llobregat Longitudinal Demographic Database. The results show that family influence on occupational attainment decreased during the industrialization in Catalonia, albeit did not vanish totally. Moreover, this loss of familial influence was concomitant with the fertility decline, entailing an interdependent relationship between the effects of industrialization and shrinking number of offspring. In contrast to societies with a prevalence of nuclear families, Catalonia faced changes in family influence and fertility decline without losing the strong presence of stem families. The youngest cohorts facing industrialization's consolidation attained higher levels of occupational status, while the oldest cohorts within the initial stages of industrialization achieved less career progression and faced social immobility, which is explained by the proletarianization effect. Nevertheless, this general enhancement over time did not break the social stratification caused by social background, which demonstrates that inequality in accessing opportunities is linked to the capacity to generate progress or demotion within societies.


  • Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen
  • Centrum för ekonomisk demografi








Working paper


  • Economic History


  • Industrialization
  • Family influence
  • Labour careers