UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Social Mobility Inquiry, 1972

Title details

SN: 1097
Title: Social Mobility Inquiry, 1972
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-1097-1
Depositor: Halsey, A.H., University of Oxford. Department of Social and Administrative Studies
Depositor: Goldthorpe, J.H., University of Oxford. Nuffield College
Principal investigator(s): University of Oxford. Oxford Social Mobility Group
Halsey, A.H., University of Oxford. Department of Social and Administrative Studies
Goldthorpe, J.H., University of Oxford. Nuffield College
Payne, C., University of Oxford. Nuffield College
Heath, A., University of Oxford. Jesus College
Data collector(s): Mary Agar Fieldwork Services
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council


The citation for this study is:

University of Oxford. Oxford Social Mobility Group, Halsey, A.H., Goldthorpe, J.H., Payne, C., Heath, A. Social Mobility Inquiry, 1972. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 1097,

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Subject Categories

Social and occupational mobility - Social stratification and groupings


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The purpose of this survey was to enquire into patterns of social mobility in England and Wales.
Main Topics:
Detailed information was collected on (i) the occupations held by respondents at various stages in their working lives and their associated employment status and industry; (ii) their education and all forms of occupationally relevant training; (iii) their formal qualifications; and (iv) to a more limited extent, the occupations, training, and qualifications of various of their kin. Questions were also included on respondents' areas of residence, current income, friendship patterns, political affiliations, etc.
In order to construct a data set which would permit the investigation of trends in social mobility between 1972 and 1983, an extensive recoding excercise was undertaken. This involved the recoding of data for approximately one in six (N=1522) of respondents to the 1972 survey for whom information on both their present and their fathers' occupation was available. This information, which was originally coded to the 1970 OPCS system of occupational classification was recoded to the 1980 OPCS system. These data have now been merged with the main survey (although they can be supplied as a separate file).
Occupational data from the British Election Study, 1983 (SN:2005) were recoded so as to become comparable with these data. It was hoped that the 'splicing' of the two studies would enable researchers to gain a clear idea of how mobility rates and patterns have changed in Britain over recent decades.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: 1972
Country: England and Wales
Spatial units: No information recorded
Observation units: Individuals
Universe: National
Men aged between 20 and 64 and resident in England and Wales in 1972
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
part of the sample was re-interviewed in 1974 (SN:1358)
Sampling procedures: Stratified two-stage: groups of wards and parishes were used as primary sampling units, selected in strata by population density, and the electoral registers for each primary unit were then taken as the frame for the random selection of individuals. For the recoding excercise, a systematic random sample of completed interview schedules was taken. These were sorted according to the primary sampling units of the 1972 enquiry
Number of units: 10309 (obtained)
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview
Weighting: No information recorded

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 01 January 1978
Copyright: No information recorded
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
User Guide 1097_userguide.pdf 6221
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_1097_Information.htm 17
READ File read1097.txt 1
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By principal investigator(s):
Halsey, A.H., Heath, A.F. and Ridge, J.M., Origins and destinations : family, class and education in modern Britain (O.U.P., 1980).

  • Payne, C., `Look-up tables' PSTAT UK Newsletter (1) May 1984.

    Resulting from secondary analysis:

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