CLUSTER ANALYSIS: Divisions in the Socioeconomic Structure
SEGMENTATION models divide workers into groups or labor segments. Once the labor segments are defined, their relative socioeconomic standing emerges as an important issue. Data on intergenerational mobility may be used to determine relative standings of labor segments.
There are a number of ways to use mobility data to measure the socioeconomic distances from one labor segment to another. The pattern of distances between segments may be analyzed for evidence that segments form clusters which reflect underlying divisions in socioeconomic structure.
This chapter presents cluster analysis in theory, method, and data analysis. It discusses views of the social class structure of the labor force (theory). It examines the use of mobility data to establish the social distance between groups and then proposes a particular method of cluster analysis for aggregating occupations (method). Appendix C clarifies this method with a simple example based on a five-category social mobility matrix. It uses cluster analysis to determine the major socioeconomic groupings of workers (data analysis). As in chapter 3, the OCG mobility table for the major census occupational categories provides the data.
Behind the correlation model of intergenerational mobility lies an individualistic conception of socioeconomic structure. Each person is positioned at some point on a continuum. A person's position is an overall composite indication of productivity and/or prestige. The significance of the socioeco-