Asif Butt

Asif Butt

Research Student

Department of Sociology

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English, German, Urdu
Key Expertise
Class, Social Mobility, Bourdieusian Theory

About me

Research Topic:

Social mobility into elite occupations and micro-class reproduction in Germany


Dr Sam Friedman (Department of Sociology) and Dr Rebecca Elliott (Department of Sociology)

Research Interests:

Social Mobility, Social Class, Bourdieusian Theory

Thesis Abstract:

Cross-country comparisons indicate how social mobility dynamics in Germany deviate significantly from other OECD nations. Considering the country’s comparatively low income inequality, its low relative intergenerational earnings and occupational mobility rates are atypical. This can partly be explained by strong patterns of class inheritance and underlying mechanisms of micro-class reproduction by which specific occupations are transmitted from one generation to the next. This frequently occurs in top class positions. Hence, my mixed-methods study aims to examine the socio-economic origins of employees in elite professions using cross-sectional survey data. The qualitative part of the study applies a Bourdieusian lens to shed light on the experience of social mobility: first, of those from disadvantaged class backgrounds and second, of those of immigrant descent to allow for intersectional analyses.

My work is located at the intersections of sociology, economics, and social policy to comprehensively understand the conditions and dynamics of social mobility.


I am doctoral programme fellow at the International Inequalities Institute. I also serve as postgraduate research student representative at the Department of Sociology. I am member of The 93% Club at LSE.

My PhD research is funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. During my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, I was awarded scholarships by Hans Boeckler Foundation and German Integration Foundation.

Outside academia, I serve as mentor for START and give free tuition at Haydee.