As shown in previous chapters, the notion of social mobility has been an important field of study within sociology. Key accounts (Glass 1954; Goldthorpe 1980; Marshall et al. 1988) have demonstrated that mobility is possible in England and Wales, albeit limited by one’s initial origin. Goldthorpe’s work demonstrated considerable levels of upward mobility though this was largely due to major shifts in the occupational structure with the expansion of the professions and the state bureaucracy opening up new opportunities for suitably qualified people – largely men – from working-class backgrounds. However, Goldthorpe has subsequently argued that levels of relative, as opposed to absolute, mobility of this kind have remained ‘fairly’ stable: the chances of ending up in the professional and managerial ‘service class’ remain substantially higher for the children of service-class parents than for children of working-class parents (e.g. Goldthorpe and Mills 2004; Goldthorpe 2012).