The February 9th, 2013 issue of the The Economist magazine featured an article on social mobility called “Nomencracy“, which discussed research on the lack of social mobility over very long periods of time in some countries. This engendered a good deal of discussion including an exchange of views I had with other academics on The Economist’s Free Exchange Blog, which is introduced here, and begins here.
But frankly the best correspondence I received on this was from a UK-based reader whose family origins are from Leicestershire, and who was kind enough to share his family history with me. His experiences vividly illustrate the challenges of upward mobility. I am pleased to reproduce his letter to me with his kind permission.
His great-great-great-great-grandfather was a framework knitter.