Szociológiai szemle

2021/3. szám
Zsanna Nyírő – Judit Durst
This paper explores the subjective experiences of education-driven upward mobility among firstin-family majority and minority (Roma) graduates in Hungary. The central question is how social ascension through educational mobility and the concomitant movement between different social worlds influence the habitus. Under what conditions does the habitus become destabilised as a result of upward mobility? The paper benefits from the empirical results of a 3-year study during which our research team has
conducted 153 life history interviews with first-generation graduates in Hungary. The inclusion criteria for the sample of our study was that respondents had to complete college or university despite none of their parents have had a university degree. We identified the most important factors that contribute to the destabilisation of the habitus, either temporary or permanent. We examined the social and geographical range of our respondents’ education-driven mobility; the speed and the destination of their mobility (field of occupation); their belonging to the majority or a minority group; and the mobility aspirations of their family of origin (or the lack thereof). We explore the effect of these factors through an intersectional lens. We demonstrate that the unique combination and intersection of these factors greatly affect the subjective experience of mobility. However, some biographical conditions and contingencies also play a role in the outcome of upward mobility. According to our results, the dislocation of habitus is a particularly common experience for our Roma interviewees, at least at some stage of their mobility trajectory. This is because they have to carry the psychic burden of race in a society where institutional racism is permeated in many areas of everyday life and the question of loyalty to their group of origin is more complicated for them.
Kulcsszavak angol: social mobility, habitus, Bourdieu, higher education, race, ethnicity, class, Roma, upward mobility