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  1. #11
    garbage
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    Huh. Neat read. I'm gonna have to pick up "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility."

    I do wonder about the connection between surname and status. It makes absolute sense on the surface, especially as applied way back in the day--19th century and before. They did dig into that problem..
    In China, there are only about 4,000 surnames; the 100 most common are held by nearly 85 percent of the population. Yet we were able to identify 13 rare surnames that were exceptionally overrepresented among successful candidates in imperial examinations in the 19th century.
    Also,
    To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’. The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be predicted based on your parents’ earnings.
    [...]
    Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited.
    I'm fucked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    I wanted to comment, too but I got hung up by "black African"...goddammit...just stop--it's fucking continent, not a country
    There's probably something I'm missing, but I don't see the problem. It seems like a way to differentiate along both ethnicity and location. He also uses, say, "black American."

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbage View Post
    Huh. Neat read. I'm gonna have to pick up "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility."

    I do wonder about the connection between surname and status. It makes absolute sense on the surface, especially as applied way back in the day--19th century and before. They did dig into that problem..


    Also,

    I'm fucked.

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    There's probably something I'm missing, but I don't see the problem. It seems like a way to differentiate along both ethnicity and location. He also uses, say, "black American."
    To the best of my knowledge no one has ever parsed out to what extent nurture plays a role in success later in life.

    To be perfectly honest, I think genetics are far from being the only positively correlated factor when it comes to determining success.

    However, I would not be surprised if genetics was the most strongly correlated factor of the several involved.

    We like to act like we wont turn into our parents, but frequently (and this applies to me as well)... we do.

  3. #13
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    To the best of my knowledge no one has ever parsed out to what extent nurture plays a role in success later in life.

    To be perfectly honest, I think genetics are far from being the only positively correlated factor when it comes to determining success.

    However, I would not be surprised if genetics was the most strongly correlated factor of the several involved.

    We like to act like we wont turn into our parents, but frequently (and this applies to me as well)... we do.
    Success in particular, I'm not sure, but a lot of other areas of study find that people do become surprisingly different from the parents. It would not quite be accurate to call it nurture, however, as it is precisely the weakness of parental nurturing that allows this to happen. When it comes to socialization, it has been found again and again that peers are far more effective at socialization people than parents, that is, parents will absolutely lose to peer groups in a 1-on-1 fight to socialize a child. Then when you consider all the other stuff, non-familial authorities, the media and popular culture, etc.. you consider that parents have to go up against all of that combined with peers, it's pretty hopeless.

    Of course you have a big problem in that it is really hard to sort out the effects of genetic inheritance and parental nurture, since usually all the same factors are in place. This is why the adoption studies are such a hot item, they're the only way to separate the genes and the nurture. I still wonder about that study in the article.
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  4. #14
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Since this approach measures the position of one surname relative to another, it does reflect social mobility that comes from riding along with a change in the system. This tells us whether or not a Rothschild or a Rockefeller is in the top ten, but it does not tell us how significant being in the top ten is. Is that 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000 times richer than someone in the middle? There is a kind of mobility that comes from the economic structure moving under you and taking you with it. Equality makes a big difference here.

    I mention this only because I was nagged by the fact that there is a supposed regression to the mean and yet there has been a definite inclination toward more concentrated wealth. I have the answer above, I suppose.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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