Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. 2006, 24 (4), 333-351
Research on welfare states and research on social stratification and mobility share a common concern for social inequality. Research on welfare states is usually comparatively designed, looking for similarities and variation across countries in a number of aspects related to social structure and social institutions. On the other hand, the basic model of social stratification, utilized in most cross-national research on social stratification and mobility, is an abstract model which does not specify why and how we are to understand cross-national differences. Yet for about 20 years or so, researchers within the social stratification community have undertaken several cross-national studies. This paper reviews a few selected studies within each area and summarizes their conclusions with regard to similarities versus differences between countries. In the final section of the paper, I discuss key issues for future work within cross-national research on social stratification.