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Sticky Social Class: A Dynamic Perspective On Subjective Social Class In The Workplace
In cross-sectional and longitudinal data (total N = 4,279), we find evidence that those who are upwardly mobile (i.e., those from lower social class backgrounds who moved into the upper-class) are less likely to feel like they fit with their new social class context at work compared to those who are class stable (i.e., those from upper-class backgrounds), even when experiencing similar employment and incomes. Further, we find evidence that this lack of fit persists throughout most of the upwardly mobile’s working life. Our work highlights that one’s social class background has a profound effect on feelings of inclusion at work that lasts the majority of one’s working life. Rather than seamlessly transitioning to their new upper-class workplaces, the upwardly mobile’s social class background is relatively sticky; it can take decades for the upwardly mobile to feel like they fit with their new social class context, if at all.