86. szám // 2021. Mobilitás a rendi társadalomban
Szeged Lives in the Nineteenth-Century. The Analysis of Intergenerational Mobility Using a Historical Database
Based on Gusztáv Haberman’s Database for the History of Szeged Burgher Families, the study examines the intergenerational mobility of a specific segment ofurban society under scrutiny. The core of the study is based on detecting themobility (or propensity for mobility) in the individuals’ profession as comparedto that of their fathers. At the same time, tendencies of immobility and of the in-tergenerational transmission of professions are also examined, which were typi-cal primarily among the sons of independent fathers, especially craftsmen andtradespeople. The study concludes that from the early nineteenth century on-wards carrying on the father’s trade was becoming a less commonly used parentalstrategy in Szeged. Parallel to this, the intergenerational mobility of professionswas on the rise. White collar workers, especially lawyers, displayed the highestdegree of professional mobility. The data show that the path of mobility for sonsof independent fathers often led them towards white collar professions and therewere no significant discrepancies between subsequent generations in this respect.The analysis of siblings’ careers indicates that the family strategy of the oldestson inheriting the father’s trade, often considered traditional, was not the onlyoption in this segment of Szeged society. The case studies show that the familieshad a more nuanced approach to choosing their children’s future profession,which probably took the skills and ability of the individual into consideration.In the examined period, the widest path of mobility in Szeged led from physi-cal labour to intellectual work. The findings suggest that the shift from independ-ent worker to employee was the prevailing intergenerational mobility trend inSzeged already before the second half of the nineteenth century. The intensity ofmobility, however, was undoubtedly increasing with the progress of time, whilethe more traditional approach to intergenerational transfer of profession, a strat-egy prioritising continuity, lost ground and was largely replaced by processes ofprofessional mobility which transgressed the boundaries of the estate system.