On 6 December 2013 Ave Roots will defence her doctoral thesis "Occupational and income mobility during post-socialist transformation of 1991-2004 in Estonia" in the Council of the Faculty of the Social Sciences and Education.
Professor Emeritus Mikk Titma (University of Tartu, University of Stanford, USA), Senior Research Fellow Mare Ainsaar (University of Tartu)
Professor Jolanta Grotowska‐Leder (University of Łódź, Poland)
Post-socialist societies with rapid societal changes have sometimes been seen as natural experiments and are therefore subjects of interest for many social scientists. The current dissertation focuses on the occupational and income mobility that occurred during the post-socialist transformation in Estonia and compares two periods: 1991-1997 and 1997-2004. The results show that the first period offered more equal access to top positions and being a "window of opportunity" for certain actions that pay off later, while the second period showed unexpected links compared to the first period. The two periods studied differ in three ways. First, there is at least one process where greater equality occurred during the first period, compared to the second. The sons of all white-collar mothers had a higher probability to become managers (compared to the sons of workers). The second period showed a much closer connection between the strata of mothers and that of their offspring, both for men and women. Second, the first period was the time when certain actions taken paid off, predicting being in higher strata during the second period or having higher income. These actions were extra jobs and only for women keeping their skills and education up to date by participating in professional courses. Third, during the last period some links appeared that were missing during the first. For example, there was no connection between secondary school type and occupation during the first period, but this connection appeared again during the second period. As already mentioned above, the link between generations became tighter. During the second period the positions of both men and women resembled their mothers' position more than during the first period.