CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Based on a French-German comparison, this article analyses the overlapping between school degrees and occupational positions that are at the core of the belonging to upper classes. The analysis is based on a reflexive use of the European socioeconomic classification ESeG and of the Labor Force Surveys conducted in 2011. In France, the extension of education and the instability of labour market have weakened the link between education and occupation among women, and have driven female and male managers to accumulate academic degrees. On the opposite in Germany, professionals have kept the monopoly of academic legitimacy provided by university degrees. Finally, we show that the results are relevant to the way upper classes are categorized ordinarily in both countries.


  • Classes
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Comparison
  • France
  • Germany
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