Social aspects of educational mobility in rural South Africa

Social aspects of educational mobility in rural South Africa


To what extent are one’s socioeconomic outcomes constrained by their inherited circumstances? Throughout the past century, there has been ongoing concern over the extent to which socioeconomic disadvantages seem to recur in the same families over the course of multiple generations.  The process whereby disadvantaged families place their offspring at risk for continued negative trajectories are highly relevant to many current issues in public policy, including pension design, publicly funded education programs, fiscal policy, and social assistance programs.  Globally, South Africa remains to be one of the most unequal countries in the world, as inherited circumstances, including educational attainment, occupation, and race of one’s family of origin, explain a significant share of South Africa’s earnings inequality over time.  One potential contribution to the persistence of socioeconomic-based inequality may be explained by the complex and dynamic nature of family systems amongst rural South African populations.  This PhD project aims to further the extant literature on intergenerational social mobility by using a life course and network approach to study the underlying mechanisms that shape the emergence of educational inequality throughout the post-apartheid era.

Shao-Tzu Yu is a first year PhD student at the School of Demography. His research focuses on utilising life course and network analytical framework and methodologies to study the extent to which families, households, and the structural environment impose opportunities and constraints on educational attainment amongst post-apartheid children.














































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The next School of Demography seminar wil be held on 1 June.











Date & time

Tue 21 Sep 2021, 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Zoom ID: 813 8432 5598 P/W 276173


Mr Shao-Tzu Yu, PhD Candidate, School of Demography, ANU


Susan Cowan


Updated:  15 September 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications