Från Sorgedalen till Glädjehöjden – omgivningens betydelse för socioekonomisk karriär

Sammanfattning: The aim of the study is to analyse the significance of surroundings for an individual's socio-economic career in the form of education, occupational status and income. Guided by a social theoretical perspective the study reveals places of good fortune and places of few opportunities.The approach uses two empirical data sets. The first is a register database with in-dividuals in the Swedish municipalities of Gävle, Jönköping and Västerås. A cluster analysis was conducted and forms the physical and socio-demographic context of the 248 areas. The survey cohort consists of individuals born 1970, who lived at least five years in the same area during their adolescence. The most important finding is that the socio-demographic and physical context of the residential area of adolescence affects the subsequent socio-economical career. The second data set includes data from an interview study carried out with residents in the three municipalities. Inter-viewees speak to contextual effects on their socio-economic career and emphasised the importance of surroundings, especially for children.More specifically, the quantitative multi-level analyses showed that the individ-ual’s socio-demographic context during 1985-89 was significantly associated with his/her education in 1995. The individuals who lived in dwellings built during the Million Programme era had fewer years of education than others did and lower chances of being employed. Favourable places for a socio-economic career are those dominated by middle-class families where contextual effects towards higher educa-tion are evident. The income of an individual though can not be clearly considered as effected from the context in the residential area.The political implications of the study should be considered together with the nu-merous area-based programs in Sweden directed to improve conditions such as de-gree of occupation, education and income. Further studies on contextual effects can help to guide allocation of resources to schools and education in certain residential areas.