Deepening our understanding on the ways in which social origins shape our lives

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Family background influences our lives in multiple ways: from genes to work-life connections, the role that parents can play in their children’s lives is almost ubiquitous. Yet these relationships are far from deterministic. Institutional contexts shape the strength and manner in which the influences take place. Even the way that genes shape our lives depends on the environment in which we live.

The Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (DIAL) research programme has studied the intergenerational transmission of social inequality extensively, covering the key stages of the life-course, as well as further conceptualising what equality of opportunity – and other key concepts for studies on intergenerational social mobility – is and how it can be measured.