Urban Forum

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 235–251 | Cite as

Inter-generational Occupational Mobility Amongst Blacks in the Mitchell’s Plain Magisterial District, Cape Town: Evidence from the Khayelitsha/Mitchell’s Plain Survey

  • Charlton ZiervogelEmail author
  • Owen Crankshaw


This study examines inter-generational occupational class mobility amongst blacks (Africans and coloureds) in the Mitchell’s Plain Magisterial District in Cape Town, South Africa. The results of the Khayelitsha/Mitchell’s Plain Survey conducted in 2000 serve as the main source of data. We show that middle-class occupational origins do not necessarily guarantee the transmission of advantage from one generation to the next. The findings revealed that there is a churning effect at work with respondents experiencing upward occupational class mobility due to the changing occupational structure, which at the same time is counteracted by considerable downward occupational class mobility. This result is partly due to (1) the particular class structure of the Mitchell’s Plain Magisterial District, which excludes many middle-class black areas and therefore has a more working-class character and (2) the precarious character of the black middle class, which is concentrated in low-paid nursing and teaching occupations.


Occupational Category Service Class Upward Mobility Occupational Class Occupational Mobility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported financially by the Data First Resource Unit (University of Cape Town) and the National Research Foundation. The findings and conclusions of this research are those of the authors and the NRF does not accept any liability for them.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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