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In a representative sample survey, interviewees were asked to place themselves on three status scales (each ranging from 1 to 10), rating what they would consider their social status was at the end of their studies, what it is today, and what a fair value would be, according to them. The result was that the lower that social mobility was perceived to be, the greater the gap between the fair social status and the current social status tended to be. This expectation of a higher fair position is even stronger when the subject considers themselves to be low in the social hierarchy. The current self-assessed position has a greater effect on social frustration than perceived intragenerational mobility. If the lower classes feel more frustrated, it is mainly because of the unequal opportunities that they come up against. The respondents therefore expected greater equality of both opportunity and position. JEL: D63, I24, J60.


  • social justice
  • social mobility
  • relative deprivation
  • social status
  • equal opportunities
  • inequality
Michel Forsé
Maxime Parodi
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