Support #1451

Matching household partners to find out who has the higher occupational class

Added by Abigail Dumalus about 2 months ago. Updated about 2 months ago.

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Is there a way to use ppid and sppid variables to designate a household's social class? For example, a man who has a middle class job and his partner/spouse has an upper class job... the woman's upper class position would represent an upper class household since they live together. Note that I am referring to current job or most recent job (if current job is missing). Are there other harmonised social class variables based on occupation? Thanks in advance.


Updated by Alita Nandi about 2 months ago

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Yes, you can use ppid or sppid (depending on whether you want to include spouses or spouses & partners) to attach their spouse/partner's social class. If you would like to know how to do this, take a look at the syntax files titled "Matching individuals within a household" here:

If you want to know whether the strategy you have suggested for deriving household social class, then that is feasible because this is a household survey and everyone is asked the same questions separately and as a result the questions & responses are harmonizable. But we cannot comment on whether the household's social class is determined by the higest social class within the household or only by the male partner's social class.

You also asked "Are there other harmonised social class variables based on occupation?" The SOC and NSSEC variables are provided. Is this what you wanted to know?

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Abigail Dumalus about 2 months ago

Hi Alita,

Thanks for your advice. I have referenced the NSSEC variables for occupation- based social class status. I am wondering how should I treat those already retired or unemployed individuals or those out of the labour force.. Are they considered working class? I was hoping that in seeing how cohabiting or married partners are positioned in terms of their occupations I can classify those others that have missing information under their respective partner’s NSSEC variables. Is there any guidance on using highest qualification as a measure of social class: upper, middle, and working classes?

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