While, technically speaking, intergenerational occupa tional mobility in the United States has not been sig nificantly greater than in Western Europe (which more nearly boasts the educational system envisioned by the opponents of universal higher education), there is more fluidity in the American social structure than that of Europe, and options for a change in social or economic status remain open to Americans up to a much later age than is the case for Europeans. This can best be seen by comparing the opportunities for intermarriage (of in dividuals of varying family background) and social inter action of Americans and Europeans in the aggregate. The status parity and social interaction potential exhibited by American college graduates is not matched by Euro peans who may be in comparable occupational slots but vary with respect to levels of formal education. To that degree, as we make higher education more universal, we do indeed foster social egalitarianism.


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