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The Son Also Rises

384 pages, 2015

economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books


999 books

How much does the status of our parents and grandparents influence our own? More than we wish to realize. While it has been argued that rigid class structures have eroded in favor of greater social equality, The Son Also Rises proves that the movement on the social ladder has changed little over eight centuries.

 Using a novel technique--tracking family names over generations to measure social mobility across countries and periods--renowned economic historian Gregory Clark reveals that mobility rates are lower than conventionally estimated, do not vary across societies, and are resistant to social policies.

The Persistence of Social Status

In 'The Son Also Rises', Gregory Clark explores the idea that social status is more persistent than we might think. He suggests that despite societal changes, families tend to maintain their social status for generations. This might make you rethink the concept of social mobility and the role of education in it.

The Role of Luck

Clark's research in the book shows that luck plays a significant role in social mobility. He argues that despite our best efforts, sometimes it's just the luck of the draw that determines our social status. This might encourage you to see the bigger picture and not to blame yourself for things that are out of your control.

The Importance of Genetics

The book also digs into the role of genetics in determining social status. Clark suggests that our genes might have more to do with our social standing than we'd like to admit. This could lead you to explore more about the nature vs nurture debate and how it applies to your own life.

The Myth of the American Dream

Clark challenges the idea of the American Dream, suggesting that social mobility is not as high as we believe in the United States. This might make you question some of the narratives you've been told about success and the 'self-made' man.

The Power of Family

In 'The Son Also Rises', Clark emphasizes the power of family in determining social status. He suggests that the family you're born into can have a significant impact on your life chances. This could inspire you to look into your own family history and see how it has shaped your life.


Scott Young

Scott Young