Drs. T.E. Sno

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faculteit der sociale wetenschappen ( afdeling sociologie )


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  • Status attainment and Social Mobility in Suriname                                                    

The aim of the proposed project is to analyze and explain patterns of social mobility among Surinamese in Suriname during the last 40 years by examining patterns of educational and occupational status attainment relative to social background, using a cohort perspective. Suriname represents a unique and important case for such a study for two main reasons. First, it is an ethnically differentiated society without apparent sharp social inequality. By contrast, many other ethnically differentiated societies (e.g. Brazil, India, South Africa) are strongly stratified, which leads to high levels of intergenerational reproduction. Our major explanatory question here is why this does not seem to generalize to Suriname? Secondly, as a result of political and socioeconomic developments, Suriname has experienced extreme flows of out-migration from the 1960s until the 1990s. The country has one of the world’s largest populations of expatriate nationals, with almost 1/3 of its population residing abroad. The major questions of interest that arise here are on the effects of out-migration on the occupational status attainment of those who stay: who have filled the positions that became vacant as a result of this huge out-migration and how has this affected the quality of candidates? How have these developments affected social mobility in total?

In order to address these questions we will implement a large-scale nationwide survey of occupational and migration careers among approximately 4,000 to 5,000 respondents in Suriname.

  • Research question:
    The general question to be answered by the proposed research, can be summarized as follows: What has been the pattern of social mobility in Suriname over the past 40 years?