[译文]你的祖先,你的命运

Your Ancestors, Your Fate
你的祖先,你的命运

作者:Gregory Clark @ 2014-2-21
翻译:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane-zny)
校对:慕白(@李凤阳他说)
来源:The New York Times,http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_r=0

Inequality of income and wealth has risen in America since the 1970s, yet a large-scale research study recently found that social mobility hadn’t changed much during that time. How can that be?

美国社会的收入和财富不平等自1970年代就一直在攀升,然而近期一项大规模调查研究发现,社会的流动性在这段时间内并没有发生大的变化。怎么回事呢?

The study, by researchers at Harvard and Berkeley, tells only part of the story. It may be true that mobility hasn’t slowed — but, more to the point, mobility has always been slow.

这项由哈佛和伯克利大学进行的研究其实只讲述了整个故事的一个方面。是的,流动性也许并没有变得更低,但更关键的是,流动性一直就很低。

When you look across centuries, and at social status broadly measured — not just income and wealth, but also occupation, education and longevity — social mobility is much slower than many of us believe, or want to believe. This is true in Sweden, a social welfare state; England, where industrial capitalism was born; the United States, one of the most heterogeneous societies in history; and India, a fairly new democracy hobbled by the legacy of caste.

当你的目光扫过几个世纪,从更广义的度量标准审视社会地位这个概念——不仅仅是收入和财富,还包括职业、教育水平和寿命——你会发现社会流动性比我们许多人相信的,或希望的要低得多。在许多国家,比如瑞典(一个社会福利国家)、英国(工业资本主义诞生之地)、美国(历史上多样性最丰富的社会之一)、印度(一个受种姓制度拖累的年轻的民主国家),情况皆是如此。

Capitalism has not led to pervasive, rapid mobility. Nor have democratization, mass public education, the decline of nepotism, redistributive taxation, the emancipation of women, or even, as in China, socialist revolution.

资本主义并没有导致广泛的、快速的社会流动。民主化同样没有,大众教育、裙带主义的衰退、以重新分配财富为目的的税收、妇女解放、甚至社会主义改革(比如中国),这些全都没有导致广泛的、快速的社会流动。

To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’. The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be predicted based on your parents’ earnings. In contrast, my colleagues and I estimate that 50 to 60 percent of variation in overall status is determined by your lineage.

你整体的人生际遇不仅仅能从你父母的社会地位,也能从你的曾-曾-曾祖父母的社会地位预测出来,准确程度足以令人吃惊。最新的研究表明,收入差异【编注:即偏离基准值的幅度】中,10%可以从你父母的收入得到预测。而我的同事和我估计,就广义的社会地位来讲,其差异幅度的50-60%都由你的血统决定了。

The fortunes of high-status families inexorably fall, and those of low-status families rise, toward the average — what social scientists call “regression to the mean” — but the process can take 10 to 15 generations (300 to 450 years), much longer than most social scientists have estimated in the past.

高门注定跌落,而寒门势必崛起,两者向均值趋同——即社会学家所谓的“均值回归”——这个过程会发生,但需要10至15代人的时间(300至450年),比过去大多数社会学家估计的都要长得多。

We came to these conclusions after examining reams of data on surnames, a surprisingly strong indicator of social status, in eight countries — Chile, China, England, India, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the United States — going back centuries. Across all of them, rare or distinctive surnames associated with elite families many generations ago are still disproportionately represented among today’s elites.

让人始料未及的是,姓氏是社会地位的一个有力指标,我们对其相关数据做了海量的分析,最终得到上述结论。这些数据来自八个国家:智利、中国、英国、印度、日本、韩国、瑞典和美国,并向上追溯了数个世纪。在所有国家中,来自精英家族的罕见或特别的姓氏在许多代之后在精英阶层的名单中仍占有很高比例。

Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited.

这是不是意味着个人对自己的命运毫无掌控之力?不。在现代精英统治的社会里,成功依然依赖个人奋斗。我们的发现只是表明,出人头地的欲望、发家致富的天赋和战胜失败的能力都有很大一部分来自遗传。

We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny.

我们无法确切知晓这种遗传的机制是什么,但是我们知道基因在此出人意料地扮演了一个重要角色。其他流行的解释——文化特质、家庭经济资源、人脉——则经不起推敲。

Because our findings run against the intuition that modernity, and in particular capitalism, has eroded the impact of ancestry on a person’s life chances, I need to explain how we arrived at them.

因为我们的发现与这样一种直觉相悖,那就是:现代化,尤其是资本主义,已经弱化了血统对一个人生活际遇的影响。所以我有必要解释下我们是怎么得到这些发现的。

Let’s start with Sweden, which — like Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway — is one of the world’s most equal societies in terms of income. To our surprise, we found that social mobility in Sweden today was no greater than in Britain or the United States today — or even Sweden in the 18th century.

让我们从瑞典开始。同丹麦、芬兰、冰岛和挪威一样,瑞典是世界上收入最平等的国家之一。让我们吃惊的是,我们发现当今瑞典的社会流动性并不比当今英国或是美国更高,甚至也不高于18世纪的瑞典。

Sweden still has a nobility. Those nobles no longer hold de facto political power, but their family records are stored by the Riddarhuset (House of Nobility), a society created in 1626. We estimate that about 56,000 Swedes hold rare surnames associated with the three historic tiers of nobles. (Variations on the names of the unfortunate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of “Hamlet” are on the list.)

瑞典仍然存在贵族。这些贵族不再享有实际的政治权力,但他们的家族记录则被贵族院(Riddarhuset)——这一创立于1626年的机构存档。据我们估计,大约有56,000位瑞典人的姓氏同历史上的三阶贵族有联系。【译注:瑞典的贵族分为三个等级,领主(lord)、骑士(knight)和士绅(esquire)。】(比如《哈姆雷特》一剧中两个不幸人物的姓氏Rosencrantz和Guildenstern就在其中。)

Another elite group are Swedes whose ancestors — a rising educated class of clerics, scholars, merchants — Latinized their surnames in the 17th and 18th centuries (like the father of the botanist Carolus Linnaeus). Adopting elite names was limited by law in Sweden in 1901, so a vast majority of people holding them are descended from prominent families.

另一个精英群体的先辈则是崛起的教士、学者或商人,他们受过教育并于17世纪到18世纪之间把自己的姓氏拉丁化,比如植物学家林奈(Carolus Linnaeus)的父亲。1901年瑞典立法限制采用精英姓氏的行为,所以今天拥有这些姓氏的人大多出身于名门望族。

Given the egalitarian nature of Swedish society, one would expect that people with these elite surnames should be no better off than other Swedes. That isn’t so. In a sample of six Stockholm-area municipalities in 2008, rich and poor, we found that the average taxable income of people with noble names was 44 percent higher than that of people with the common surname Andersson. Those with Latinized names had average taxable incomes 27 percent higher than those named Andersson.

考虑到瑞典社会的平等主义性质,可以预计拥有这些精英姓氏的人不会比其他瑞典人要混得好。事实并非如此。2008年我們所做的一項研究对斯德哥尔摩地区六个贫富不一的自治市进行了取样,研究发现拥有贵族姓氏的人,其应税所得(taxable income)要比拥有Andersson这一普通姓氏的人高44%。那些拥有拉丁化名字的人,其平均应税所得要比Andersson们高27%。

Surnames of titled nobles (counts and barons) are represented in the register of the Swedish Bar Association at six times the rate they occur in the general population (three times the rate, for untitled-noble and Latinized surnames). The same goes for Swedish doctors.

有封号贵族(伯爵或男爵)的姓氏出现在瑞典律师协会登记名单中的比例是他们在全体国民中比例的六倍(对无封号贵族以及拉丁化姓氏,则是3倍)。在瑞典的医生群体当中,情况也是如此。

Among those who completed master’s theses at Uppsala University from 2000 to 2012, Swedes with elite surnames were overrepresented by 60 to 80 percent compared with those with the common surname prefixes Lund- and Berg-.

2000年至2012年,在乌普萨拉大学完成硕士论文的学生中,拥有精英姓氏的瑞典学生的代表率要比有着普通姓名前缀Lund-、Berg-的学生高60%到80%。【译注:文中多次用到“代表率”这个指标,是指被考察群体在某特征人群中的占比除以其在全国人口中的占比,若得数远大于1,则是过度代表(overrepresented),若得数小于1,则是代表不足(underrepresented)。

divideCHART-blog427

Over centuries, there is movement toward the mean, but it is slow. In three of the Royal Academies of Sweden, half of the members from 1740 to 1769 held one of the elite surnames in our sample; by 2010, only 4 percent did — but these surnames were held by just 0.7 percent of all Swedes, so they were still strongly overrepresented. In short, nearly 100 years of social democratic policies in Sweden, while creating a very egalitarian society, have failed to accelerate social mobility.

数世纪以来,均值回归化的趋势一直存在,但速度缓慢。在三所瑞典皇家学院,我们调查的样本人群中有一半在1740年至1769年间拥有一个精英姓氏;到2010年,这个比例仅为4%——但是全体瑞典人中只有0.7%的人拥有这些精英姓氏,所以精英姓氏的高代表率仍显得非常突出。简而言之,瑞典近100年的社会民主化政策虽然创造了一个平等主义的社会,却没能加速社会流动性。

What if we go back even further in time — to medieval England?

如果我们在时间上回溯得更远——到中世纪的英格兰,又会怎样呢?

We estimate that one-tenth of all surnames in contemporary England can be traced to the occupation of a medieval ancestor — names like Smith (the most common surname in the United States, England and Australia), Baker, Butler, Carter, Chamberlain, Cook, Shepherd, Stewart and Wright. Tax records suggest that most surnames became heritable by 1300.

我们估计十分之一的当今英格兰姓氏可以同其中世纪的祖先的职业联系起来——比如Smith(美国、英格兰和澳大利亚最常见的姓氏)、Baker、Butler、Carter、Chamberlain、Cook、Shepherd、Stewart and Wright。【译注:从Smith到Wright,这些姓氏分别对应着铁匠、烤面包师、管家、马车司机、封建领主的大管家、厨师、牧羊人、事务官、修船工。】税赋记录显示,大多数姓氏从1300年前后开始变成了可继承姓氏。

We compared the frequency of these common surnames in the population as a whole against elite groups, as drawn from several sources, including membership rolls at Oxford and Cambridge, dating as far back as 1170, and probate records from 1384 onward.

我们对比了人群中这些普通姓氏和精英姓氏出现的频率,数据来源有几个,包括最早追溯至1170年的牛津与剑桥录取名单,和1384年以来的遗嘱记录。

We found that late medieval England was no less mobile than modern England — contrary to the common assumption of a static feudal order. It took just seven generations for the successful descendants of illiterate village artisans of 1300 to be incorporated fully into the educated elite of 1500 — that is, the frequency of their names in the Oxbridge rolls reached the level around where it is today. By 1620, according to probate records, people with names like Butcher and Baker had nearly as much wealth as people with high-status surnames like Rochester and Radcliffe.

我们发现,中世纪晚期英格兰的社会流动性不比现代英国差——这和静止的封建秩序这一通常印象恰恰相反。公元1300年一个目不识丁的村夫的后代仅仅需要7代便可在1500年成为彻头彻尾的受过良好教育的精英分子——也就是说,他们的姓氏出现在牛津剑桥录取名单上的频率已经和今天差不多了。到1620年,根据遗嘱记录,有着像Butcher和Baker这样平民姓氏的人已经和有着诸如Rochester 和Radcliffe这种高贵姓氏的人一样富有了。

Take Chaucer. A commoner by birth — his name probably comes from the French word for shoemaker — he became a courtier, a diplomat and a member of Parliament, and his great-great-grandson was even briefly considered heir to the throne during the reign of Richard III.

比如著名的英国诗人乔叟(Chaucer),他出生在一个平凡的家庭——他的姓氏可能来自法语,意思是鞋匠——却成为了朝臣、外交家和国会议员。他的曾-曾孙甚至在理查三世时期被短暂地视作王位的继承人。

Of course, mobility, in medieval times as now, worked both ways. Just as Chaucer’s progeny prospered, other previously well-off families declined. The medieval noble surname Cholmondeley was, by the 19th century, held by a good number of farm laborers.

当然,不管是在中世纪还是当代,社会流动性都是双向的。当乔叟的后代们飞黄腾达时,其他曾经辉煌的家族也在衰落。中世纪时的贵族姓氏Cholmondeley到了19世纪,已为许多农民拥有。

In any generation, happy accidents (including extraordinary talent) will produce new high-status families. It is impossible to predict which particular families are likely to experience such boosts. What is predictable is what the path to elite status will look like, and the path back to the mean. Both happen at a very slow pace.

在任何时代,天上掉下的馅饼(包括超凡的天才)都可以成就新的上层家族。预测具体哪些家庭会碰上这样的运气是不可能的。可以预测的是通向精英阶层的道路和重回平民阶级的道路。两个方向的流动都非常缓慢。

For all the creative destruction unleashed by capitalism, the industrial revolution did not accelerate mobility. Looking at 181 rare surnames held by the wealthiest 15 percent of English and Welsh people in the mid-19th century — to be clear, these were not the same elite surnames as in the medieval era — we found that people with these surnames who died between 1999 and 2012 were more than three times as wealthy as the average person.

虽然资本主义带来了种种创造性破坏,但工业革命并没有加速社会流动。举例来说,19世纪中期英格兰和威尔士最富有的15%的人当中,有181个贵族姓氏(当然,这些姓氏与中世纪的精英姓氏已有不同),我们发现,在1999年到2012年间死亡的拥有这些姓氏的人士的财富是普通人的三倍还多。

If your surname is rare, and someone with that surname attended Oxford or Cambridge around 1800, your odds of being enrolled at those universities are nearly four times greater than the average person. This slowness of mobility has persisted despite a vast expansion in public financing for secondary and university education, and the adoption of much more open and meritocratic admissions at both schools.

如果你的姓氏很少见,而且拥有你的姓氏的人在1800年进入了牛津或剑桥,那么你被这两所大学录取的几率就比普通人高三倍。尽管对中学和大学教育的公共开支大幅增加,而且两所大学的录取条件也已变得更加公开、更加以实力为考量,但社会流动缓慢状况仍在继续。

What about America, the self-proclaimed land of opportunity?

那么美国,这个自诩“机会的国度”,其情况又如何呢?

We selected a sampling of high- and low-status American surnames. The elite ones were held by descendants of Ivy League alumni who graduated by 1850, exceptionally wealthy people with rare surnames in 1923-24 (when public inspection of income-tax payments was legal) and Ashkenazi Jews. The low-status names were associated with black Americans whose ancestors most likely arrived as slaves, and the descendants of French colonists in North America before 1763.

我们挑选了一些代表社会上层和下层的姓氏作为样本。上层姓氏的拥有者们一部分是1850年毕业的常青藤校友的后代,他们是绝对的富人,在1923-24年拥有少见的姓氏(那时对个人所得税支付情况进行公开检查仍是合法的),另一部分则是阿什肯纳兹犹太人。下层姓氏的拥有者则是美国黑人和1763年前在北美的法国殖民者的后裔,前者的祖先大多以奴隶的身份来到美国。

We chose only surnames closely correlated with these subgroups — for example, Rabinowitz for American Jews, and Washington for black Americans.

我们只选择与上述背景紧密相关的姓氏——比如,Rabinowitz代表了美国犹太人,而Washington则是典型的美国黑人。

We used two indicators of social status: the American Medical Association’s directory of physicians and registries of licensed attorneys, along with their dates of registration, in 25 states, covering 74 percent of the population.

我们采纳了两个衡量社会地位的指标:美国医学协会的内科医生名录和执业律师注册名单,以及注册时间,调查覆盖25个州,涵盖了此类人口的74%。

In the early to mid-20th century we found the expected regression toward the mean for all of these groups, except for Jews and blacks — which reflects the reality of quotas that had barred Jews from many elite schools, and of racial segregation, which was not fully outlawed until the 1960s.

我们发现,在20世纪初期至中叶,所有这些群体都如预想那样出现了均值回归的情形,只有犹太人和黑人除外——这反应了当时的现实状况:一是配额制限制了犹太人进入许多精英学校的机会,二是种族隔离,直到1960年代种族隔离才被全面视作非法。

Starting in the 1970s, Jews began, over all, a decline in social status, while blacks began a corresponding rise, at least as measured by the doctors’ directory. But both trends are very slow. At the current rate, for example, it will be 300 years before Ashkenazi Jews cease to be overrepresented among American doctors, and even 200 years from now the descendants of enslaved African-Americans will still be underrepresented.

从1970年代起,整体而言犹太人的社会地位开始下降,而黑人的社会地位则相应地开始上升,至少医生名录反映出的状况如此。但这两种趋势都十分缓慢。比方说,按现在的速度,得过300年后,阿什肯纳兹犹太人在美国医生群体中的过度代表情形才会消失,甚至200年后,曾为奴隶的非洲裔美国人的后代在医生群体中仍将存在代表不足的情形。

Family names tell you, for better or worse, a lot: The average life span of an American with the typically Jewish surname Katz is 80.2 years, compared with 64.6 years for those with the surname Begay (or Begaye), which is strongly associated with Native Americans. Heberts, whites of New France descent, live on average three years less than Dohertys, whites of Irish descent.

不管是好是坏,姓氏总是包含有大量信息:拥有典型的犹太姓氏Katz的美国人,其平均寿命是80.2岁,与此相对的则是拥有Begay(或是Begaye)这一与美洲土著紧密相关的姓氏的人,他们平均寿命只有64.6岁。新法兰西殖民地的白人后代比爱尔兰白人后代平均少活3年,前者的典型姓名是Hebert,而后者往往姓Doherty。

But to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been slow.

不过要澄清的是,我们发现并没有证据显示某些种族天生就比其他种族过得好。在美国拥有非常高社会地位的族群包括阿什肯纳兹犹太人、埃及科普特人、伊朗穆斯林、来自印度的印度教徒和基督徒,以及西非移民。法裔加拿大移民的后裔并没有种族歧视的烦恼,但同黑人一样,他们向社会上层的流动一直很缓慢。

Chen (a common Chinese surname) is of higher status than Churchill. Appiah (a Ghanaian surname) is higher than Olson (or Olsen), a common white surname of average status. Very little information about status can be surmised by the most common American surnames — the top five are Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown and Jones, which all originated in England — because they are held by a mix of whites and blacks.

姓Chen(常见的华裔姓氏)的比姓Churchill的社会地位高。姓Appiah(常见加纳姓氏)的比姓Olson(或Olsen)的社会地位高,后者是常见的普通白人的姓氏。从美国最常见的姓氏中很难得出关于社会地位的信息(前五位的姓氏是Smith、Johnson、Williams、Brown和Jones,他们都源自英格兰),因为这些人中有白人也有黑人。

Our findings were replicated in Chile, India, Japan, South Korea and, surprisingly, China, which stands out as a demonstration of the resilience of status — even after a Communist revolution nearly unparalleled in its ferocity, class hatred and mass displacement.

我们的发现在智利、印度、日本、韩国和中国都得到了印证。在中国的惊人发现向我们清晰地展示了社会地位的难以撼动,即便是在一场共产主义革命之后(其残暴程度、阶级仇恨的强度和人口迁移规模前所未有),情形仍是如此。

Hundreds of thousands of relatively prosperous mainland Chinese fled to Taiwan with the Nationalists in the late 1940s. Under Communist agrarian reform, as much as 43 percent of all land was seized and redistributed. The Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 saw purges of scholars and other former elites and “class enemies.”

1940年代末期,数百万大陆居民随国民党逃到台湾,他们都是相对富裕的中国人。中共的土地革命夺取了43%的土地并将其重新分配。1966年至1976年的文化大革命对学者、其他前社会精英分子以及“阶级敌人”进行了大清洗。

In China, there are only about 4,000 surnames; the 100 most common are held by nearly 85 percent of the population. Yet we were able to identify 13 rare surnames that were exceptionally overrepresented among successful candidates in imperial examinations in the 19th century. Remarkably, holders of these 13 surnames are disproportionately found now among professors and students at elite universities, government officials, and heads of corporate boards. Social mobility in the Communist era has accelerated, but by very little. Mao failed.

在中国,总共只有大约4,000种姓氏,其中最常见的100个占了85%的人口。不过我们仍选出了13种罕见姓氏,拥有这些姓氏的人在19世纪的科举考试成功者中的过度代表情形十分突出。在今天,这13个姓氏的拥有者在教授、名牌大学的学生、政府官员和公司高管中的占比也较高。在共产主义的时代,中国的社会流动性曾得到提升,但十分微弱。毛泽东的努力失败了。

These findings may surprise two groups that are often politically opposed: those who believe that certain “cultures” are higher-achieving than others and those who attribute success to family resources and social networks.

这些发现可能会让两种人吃惊,而这两种人通常在政见上互相对立:一是那些相信某些“文化”能比其他文化取得更大成就的人,二是那些将成功归因为家族资源和社会关系的人。

Culture is a nebulous category and it can’t explain the constant regression of family status — from the top and the bottom. High-status social groups in America are astonishingly diverse. There are representatives from nearly every major religious and ethnic group in the world — except for the group that led to the argument for culture as the foundation of social success: white European Protestants. Muslims are low-status in much of India and Europe, but Iranian Muslims are among the most elite of all groups in America.

文化这个范畴太过含糊不清,并不能解释家族地位的均值回归——不管是从高处回归还是从低处回归。美国上层社会群体是非常多元化的,这一点相当令人吃惊。在这些拥有较高社会地位的人中,你可以找到全世界几乎所有主要宗教和种族的代表——但没有来自欧洲的白人新教徒,这一群体往往被拿来佐证文化是取得社会成功的基础。穆斯林在印度和欧洲的大部分地区都处在社会底层,但是伊朗穆斯林却是美国最精英的群体之一。

Family resources and social networks are not irrelevant. Evidence has been found that programs from early childhood education to socioeconomic and racial classroom integration can yield lasting benefits for poor children. But the potential of such programs to alter the overall rate of social mobility in any major way is low. The societies that invest the most in helping disadvantaged children, like the Nordic countries, have produced absolute, commendable benefits for these children, but they have not changed their relative social position.

家族资源和人脉并不是无关的。有证据显示,从早期的儿童教育到社会经济和种族的一体化教育,这样的项目能够为贫穷家庭的孩子带来持续的好处。但是此类项目提高社会流动性的潜力都是很低的。那些煞费苦心帮助条件不利儿童的社会,比如北欧的国家,已经取得了明显的、可圈可点的益处,但都没能改变这些儿童的相对社会地位。

The notion of genetic transmission of “social competence” — some mysterious mix of drive and ability — may unsettle us. But studies of adoption, in some ways the most dramatic of social interventions, support this view.

“社会竞争力”——某种神秘的内驱力和能力的混合体——能够通过基因遗传,这一想法也许会让我们感到不安。但是对领养(在某些方面这可谓是最激烈的社会干预行为了)的研究却支持这一观点。

A number of studies of adopted children in the United States and Nordic countries show convincingly that their life chances are more strongly predicted from their biological parents than their adoptive families. In America, for example, the I.Q. of adopted children correlates with their adoptive parents’ when they are young, but the correlation is close to zero by adulthood. There is a low correlation between the incomes and educational attainment of adopted children and those of their adoptive parents.

对美国和北欧被领养小孩的一些调查研究极有说服力地表明,从这些小孩的生物学父母——而非他们的养父母身上——的情况更能预测出他们的生活境遇。比如在美国,被领养小孩的智商在他们还小时同他们的养父母相关,但是当他们成年了,这种相关性就接近于0了。被领养孩子的收入和受教育程度同他们养父母的相关性不大。

These studies, along with studies of correlations across various types of siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is the main carrier of social status.

上述研究,加上对不同类型的兄弟姐妹(同卵双胞胎、异卵双胞胎、同母异父或同父异母)之间相关性的研究,都表明基因是决定社会地位的主要因素。

If we are right that nature predominates over nurture, and explains the low rate of social mobility, is that inherently a tragedy? It depends on your point of view.

如果真是大自然主导了出人头地的机会,并且是低社会流动性的罪魁祸首,那岂不是说,从根本上而言,这就是一个悲剧?这要看你怎么想。

The idea that low-status ancestors might keep someone down many generations later runs against most people’s notions of fairness. But at the same time, the large investments made by the super-elite in their kids — like those of the Manhattan hedge-funders who spend a fortune on preschool — are of no avail in preventing long-run downward mobility.

来自社会底层的祖先会让某人在时隔许多代以后仍然处在社会底层,这样的观点与大多数人对公平的理解相抵触。但同时,上层精英对孩子们的大量投资——比如对学前教育一掷千金的曼哈顿对冲基金经理们——并不能阻止子孙们在长久的时间跨度中社会地位的衰落。

Our findings do suggest that intermarriage among people of different strata will raise mobility over time. India, we found, has exceptionally low mobility in part because religion and caste have barred intermarriage. As long as mating is assortative — partners are of similar social status, regardless of ethnic, national or religious background — social mobility will remain low.

我们的发现确实表明不同社会地位的人通婚会在长期内增加社会流动性。我们发现印度的社会流动性异常之低,部分原因便是宗教和种姓制度阻碍了这种通婚。只要婚姻奉行“非同类不婚”原则——拥有相似的社会地位,不管其种族、国籍或是宗教背景如何——社会流动性就会一直处在低水平。

As the political theorist John Rawls suggested in his landmark work “A Theory of Justice” (1971), innate differences in talent and drive mean that, to create a fair society, the disadvantages of low social status should be limited. We are not suggesting that the fact of slow mobility means that policies to lift up the lives of the disadvantaged are for naught — quite the opposite. Sweden is, for the less well off, a better place to live than the United States, and that is a good thing. And opportunities for people to flourish to the best of their abilities are essential.

政治理论家罗尔斯在他里程碑式著作《正义论》(1971年)中提出,才干和内驱力的先天差异意味着,要创造一个公平的社会,卑微出身带来的不利需要予以限制。我们不是暗示社会流动性低这一事实意味着那些帮助处于不利地位的人的政策就是徒劳的——恰恰相反。瑞典,对生活并不宽裕的人来说,是个比美国更好的选择,而这是好事。让人们有机会最大限度地发挥他们的能力是至关重要的。

Large-scale, rapid social mobility is impossible to legislate. What governments can do is ameliorate the effects of life’s inherent unfairness. Where we will fall within the social spectrum is largely fated at birth. Given that fact, we have to decide how much reward, or punishment, should be attached to what is ultimately fickle and arbitrary, the lottery of your lineage.

大范围的、快速的社会流动是无法通过立法来实现的。政府能做的是削弱先天不公平所带来的后果。我们会处在阶层光谱的哪个位置,基本上在我们出生时就已经决定了。基于这一事实,我们必须决定的是,由“族谱彩票”这一终归是无情而武断的因素所决定的赏罚额该有多大。

(编辑:辉格@whigzhou)

*注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

相关文章

标签: | | |
6852
Your Ancestors, Your Fate 你的祖先,你的命运 作者:Gregory Clark @ 2014-2-21 翻译:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane-zny) 校对:慕白(@李凤阳他说) 来源:The New York Times,http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/your-fate-thank-your-ancestors/?_r=0 Inequality of income and wealth has risen in America since the 1970s, yet a large-scale research study recently found that social mobility hadn’t changed much during that time. How can that be? 美国社会的收入和财富不平等自1970年代就一直在攀升,然而近期一项大规模调查研究发现,社会的流动性在这段时间内并没有发生大的变化。怎么回事呢? The study, by researchers at Harvard and Berkeley, tells only part of the story. It may be true that mobility hasn’t slowed — but, more to the point, mobility has always been slow. 这项由哈佛和伯克利大学进行的研究其实只讲述了整个故事的一个方面。是的,流动性也许并没有变得更低,但更关键的是,流动性一直就很低。 When you look across centuries, and at social status broadly measured — not just income and wealth, but also occupation, education and longevity — social mobility is much slower than many of us believe, or want to believe. This is true in Sweden, a social welfare state; England, where industrial capitalism was born; the United States, one of the most heterogeneous societies in history; and India, a fairly new democracy hobbled by the legacy of caste. 当你的目光扫过几个世纪,从更广义的度量标准审视社会地位这个概念——不仅仅是收入和财富,还包括职业、教育水平和寿命——你会发现社会流动性比我们许多人相信的,或希望的要低得多。在许多国家,比如瑞典(一个社会福利国家)、英国(工业资本主义诞生之地)、美国(历史上多样性最丰富的社会之一)、印度(一个受种姓制度拖累的年轻的民主国家),情况皆是如此。 Capitalism has not led to pervasive, rapid mobility. Nor have democratization, mass public education, the decline of nepotism, redistributive taxation, the emancipation of women, or even, as in China, socialist revolution. 资本主义并没有导致广泛的、快速的社会流动。民主化同样没有,大众教育、裙带主义的衰退、以重新分配财富为目的的税收、妇女解放、甚至社会主义改革(比如中国),这些全都没有导致广泛的、快速的社会流动。 To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’. The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be predicted based on your parents’ earnings. In contrast, my colleagues and I estimate that 50 to 60 percent of variation in overall status is determined by your lineage. 你整体的人生际遇不仅仅能从你父母的社会地位,也能从你的曾-曾-曾祖父母的社会地位预测出来,准确程度足以令人吃惊。最新的研究表明,收入差异【编注:即偏离基准值的幅度】中,10%可以从你父母的收入得到预测。而我的同事和我估计,就广义的社会地位来讲,其差异幅度的50-60%都由你的血统决定了。 The fortunes of high-status families inexorably fall, and those of low-status families rise, toward the average — what social scientists call “regression to the mean” — but the process can take 10 to 15 generations (300 to 450 years), much longer than most social scientists have estimated in the past. 高门注定跌落,而寒门势必崛起,两者向均值趋同——即社会学家所谓的“均值回归”——这个过程会发生,但需要10至15代人的时间(300至450年),比过去大多数社会学家估计的都要长得多。 We came to these conclusions after examining reams of data on surnames, a surprisingly strong indicator of social status, in eight countries — Chile, China, England, India, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the United States — going back centuries. Across all of them, rare or distinctive surnames associated with elite families many generations ago are still disproportionately represented among today’s elites. 让人始料未及的是,姓氏是社会地位的一个有力指标,我们对其相关数据做了海量的分析,最终得到上述结论。这些数据来自八个国家:智利、中国、英国、印度、日本、韩国、瑞典和美国,并向上追溯了数个世纪。在所有国家中,来自精英家族的罕见或特别的姓氏在许多代之后在精英阶层的名单中仍占有很高比例。 Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. 这是不是意味着个人对自己的命运毫无掌控之力?不。在现代精英统治的社会里,成功依然依赖个人奋斗。我们的发现只是表明,出人头地的欲望、发家致富的天赋和战胜失败的能力都有很大一部分来自遗传。 We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny. 我们无法确切知晓这种遗传的机制是什么,但是我们知道基因在此出人意料地扮演了一个重要角色。其他流行的解释——文化特质、家庭经济资源、人脉——则经不起推敲。 Because our findings run against the intuition that modernity, and in particular capitalism, has eroded the impact of ancestry on a person’s life chances, I need to explain how we arrived at them. 因为我们的发现与这样一种直觉相悖,那就是:现代化,尤其是资本主义,已经弱化了血统对一个人生活际遇的影响。所以我有必要解释下我们是怎么得到这些发现的。 Let’s start with Sweden, which — like Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway — is one of the world’s most equal societies in terms of income. To our surprise, we found that social mobility in Sweden today was no greater than in Britain or the United States today — or even Sweden in the 18th century. 让我们从瑞典开始。同丹麦、芬兰、冰岛和挪威一样,瑞典是世界上收入最平等的国家之一。让我们吃惊的是,我们发现当今瑞典的社会流动性并不比当今英国或是美国更高,甚至也不高于18世纪的瑞典。 Sweden still has a nobility. Those nobles no longer hold de facto political power, but their family records are stored by the Riddarhuset (House of Nobility), a society created in 1626. We estimate that about 56,000 Swedes hold rare surnames associated with the three historic tiers of nobles. (Variations on the names of the unfortunate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of “Hamlet” are on the list.) 瑞典仍然存在贵族。这些贵族不再享有实际的政治权力,但他们的家族记录则被贵族院(Riddarhuset)——这一创立于1626年的机构存档。据我们估计,大约有56,000位瑞典人的姓氏同历史上的三阶贵族有联系。【译注:瑞典的贵族分为三个等级,领主(lord)、骑士(knight)和士绅(esquire)。】(比如《哈姆雷特》一剧中两个不幸人物的姓氏Rosencrantz和Guildenstern就在其中。) Another elite group are Swedes whose ancestors — a rising educated class of clerics, scholars, merchants — Latinized their surnames in the 17th and 18th centuries (like the father of the botanist Carolus Linnaeus). Adopting elite names was limited by law in Sweden in 1901, so a vast majority of people holding them are descended from prominent families. 另一个精英群体的先辈则是崛起的教士、学者或商人,他们受过教育并于17世纪到18世纪之间把自己的姓氏拉丁化,比如植物学家林奈(Carolus Linnaeus)的父亲。1901年瑞典立法限制采用精英姓氏的行为,所以今天拥有这些姓氏的人大多出身于名门望族。 Given the egalitarian nature of Swedish society, one would expect that people with these elite surnames should be no better off than other Swedes. That isn’t so. In a sample of six Stockholm-area municipalities in 2008, rich and poor, we found that the average taxable income of people with noble names was 44 percent higher than that of people with the common surname Andersson. Those with Latinized names had average taxable incomes 27 percent higher than those named Andersson. 考虑到瑞典社会的平等主义性质,可以预计拥有这些精英姓氏的人不会比其他瑞典人要混得好。事实并非如此。2008年我們所做的一項研究对斯德哥尔摩地区六个贫富不一的自治市进行了取样,研究发现拥有贵族姓氏的人,其应税所得(taxable income)要比拥有Andersson这一普通姓氏的人高44%。那些拥有拉丁化名字的人,其平均应税所得要比Andersson们高27%。 Surnames of titled nobles (counts and barons) are represented in the register of the Swedish Bar Association at six times the rate they occur in the general population (three times the rate, for untitled-noble and Latinized surnames). The same goes for Swedish doctors. 有封号贵族(伯爵或男爵)的姓氏出现在瑞典律师协会登记名单中的比例是他们在全体国民中比例的六倍(对无封号贵族以及拉丁化姓氏,则是3倍)。在瑞典的医生群体当中,情况也是如此。 Among those who completed master’s theses at Uppsala University from 2000 to 2012, Swedes with elite surnames were overrepresented by 60 to 80 percent compared with those with the common surname prefixes Lund- and Berg-. 2000年至2012年,在乌普萨拉大学完成硕士论文的学生中,拥有精英姓氏的瑞典学生的代表率要比有着普通姓名前缀Lund-、Berg-的学生高60%到80%。【译注:文中多次用到“代表率”这个指标,是指被考察群体在某特征人群中的占比除以其在全国人口中的占比,若得数远大于1,则是过度代表(overrepresented),若得数小于1,则是代表不足(underrepresented)。divideCHART-blog427 Over centuries, there is movement toward the mean, but it is slow. In three of the Royal Academies of Sweden, half of the members from 1740 to 1769 held one of the elite surnames in our sample; by 2010, only 4 percent did — but these surnames were held by just 0.7 percent of all Swedes, so they were still strongly overrepresented. In short, nearly 100 years of social democratic policies in Sweden, while creating a very egalitarian society, have failed to accelerate social mobility. 数世纪以来,均值回归化的趋势一直存在,但速度缓慢。在三所瑞典皇家学院,我们调查的样本人群中有一半在1740年至1769年间拥有一个精英姓氏;到2010年,这个比例仅为4%——但是全体瑞典人中只有0.7%的人拥有这些精英姓氏,所以精英姓氏的高代表率仍显得非常突出。简而言之,瑞典近100年的社会民主化政策虽然创造了一个平等主义的社会,却没能加速社会流动性。 What if we go back even further in time — to medieval England? 如果我们在时间上回溯得更远——到中世纪的英格兰,又会怎样呢? We estimate that one-tenth of all surnames in contemporary England can be traced to the occupation of a medieval ancestor — names like Smith (the most common surname in the United States, England and Australia), Baker, Butler, Carter, Chamberlain, Cook, Shepherd, Stewart and Wright. Tax records suggest that most surnames became heritable by 1300. 我们估计十分之一的当今英格兰姓氏可以同其中世纪的祖先的职业联系起来——比如Smith(美国、英格兰和澳大利亚最常见的姓氏)、Baker、Butler、Carter、Chamberlain、Cook、Shepherd、Stewart and Wright。【译注:从Smith到Wright,这些姓氏分别对应着铁匠、烤面包师、管家、马车司机、封建领主的大管家、厨师、牧羊人、事务官、修船工。】税赋记录显示,大多数姓氏从1300年前后开始变成了可继承姓氏。 We compared the frequency of these common surnames in the population as a whole against elite groups, as drawn from several sources, including membership rolls at Oxford and Cambridge, dating as far back as 1170, and probate records from 1384 onward. 我们对比了人群中这些普通姓氏和精英姓氏出现的频率,数据来源有几个,包括最早追溯至1170年的牛津与剑桥录取名单,和1384年以来的遗嘱记录。 We found that late medieval England was no less mobile than modern England — contrary to the common assumption of a static feudal order. It took just seven generations for the successful descendants of illiterate village artisans of 1300 to be incorporated fully into the educated elite of 1500 — that is, the frequency of their names in the Oxbridge rolls reached the level around where it is today. By 1620, according to probate records, people with names like Butcher and Baker had nearly as much wealth as people with high-status surnames like Rochester and Radcliffe. 我们发现,中世纪晚期英格兰的社会流动性不比现代英国差——这和静止的封建秩序这一通常印象恰恰相反。公元1300年一个目不识丁的村夫的后代仅仅需要7代便可在1500年成为彻头彻尾的受过良好教育的精英分子——也就是说,他们的姓氏出现在牛津剑桥录取名单上的频率已经和今天差不多了。到1620年,根据遗嘱记录,有着像Butcher和Baker这样平民姓氏的人已经和有着诸如Rochester 和Radcliffe这种高贵姓氏的人一样富有了。 Take Chaucer. A commoner by birth — his name probably comes from the French word for shoemaker — he became a courtier, a diplomat and a member of Parliament, and his great-great-grandson was even briefly considered heir to the throne during the reign of Richard III. 比如著名的英国诗人乔叟(Chaucer),他出生在一个平凡的家庭——他的姓氏可能来自法语,意思是鞋匠——却成为了朝臣、外交家和国会议员。他的曾-曾孙甚至在理查三世时期被短暂地视作王位的继承人。 Of course, mobility, in medieval times as now, worked both ways. Just as Chaucer’s progeny prospered, other previously well-off families declined. The medieval noble surname Cholmondeley was, by the 19th century, held by a good number of farm laborers. 当然,不管是在中世纪还是当代,社会流动性都是双向的。当乔叟的后代们飞黄腾达时,其他曾经辉煌的家族也在衰落。中世纪时的贵族姓氏Cholmondeley到了19世纪,已为许多农民拥有。 In any generation, happy accidents (including extraordinary talent) will produce new high-status families. It is impossible to predict which particular families are likely to experience such boosts. What is predictable is what the path to elite status will look like, and the path back to the mean. Both happen at a very slow pace. 在任何时代,天上掉下的馅饼(包括超凡的天才)都可以成就新的上层家族。预测具体哪些家庭会碰上这样的运气是不可能的。可以预测的是通向精英阶层的道路和重回平民阶级的道路。两个方向的流动都非常缓慢。 For all the creative destruction unleashed by capitalism, the industrial revolution did not accelerate mobility. Looking at 181 rare surnames held by the wealthiest 15 percent of English and Welsh people in the mid-19th century — to be clear, these were not the same elite surnames as in the medieval era — we found that people with these surnames who died between 1999 and 2012 were more than three times as wealthy as the average person. 虽然资本主义带来了种种创造性破坏,但工业革命并没有加速社会流动。举例来说,19世纪中期英格兰和威尔士最富有的15%的人当中,有181个贵族姓氏(当然,这些姓氏与中世纪的精英姓氏已有不同),我们发现,在1999年到2012年间死亡的拥有这些姓氏的人士的财富是普通人的三倍还多。 If your surname is rare, and someone with that surname attended Oxford or Cambridge around 1800, your odds of being enrolled at those universities are nearly four times greater than the average person. This slowness of mobility has persisted despite a vast expansion in public financing for secondary and university education, and the adoption of much more open and meritocratic admissions at both schools. 如果你的姓氏很少见,而且拥有你的姓氏的人在1800年进入了牛津或剑桥,那么你被这两所大学录取的几率就比普通人高三倍。尽管对中学和大学教育的公共开支大幅增加,而且两所大学的录取条件也已变得更加公开、更加以实力为考量,但社会流动缓慢状况仍在继续。 What about America, the self-proclaimed land of opportunity? 那么美国,这个自诩“机会的国度”,其情况又如何呢? We selected a sampling of high- and low-status American surnames. The elite ones were held by descendants of Ivy League alumni who graduated by 1850, exceptionally wealthy people with rare surnames in 1923-24 (when public inspection of income-tax payments was legal) and Ashkenazi Jews. The low-status names were associated with black Americans whose ancestors most likely arrived as slaves, and the descendants of French colonists in North America before 1763. 我们挑选了一些代表社会上层和下层的姓氏作为样本。上层姓氏的拥有者们一部分是1850年毕业的常青藤校友的后代,他们是绝对的富人,在1923-24年拥有少见的姓氏(那时对个人所得税支付情况进行公开检查仍是合法的),另一部分则是阿什肯纳兹犹太人。下层姓氏的拥有者则是美国黑人和1763年前在北美的法国殖民者的后裔,前者的祖先大多以奴隶的身份来到美国。 We chose only surnames closely correlated with these subgroups — for example, Rabinowitz for American Jews, and Washington for black Americans. 我们只选择与上述背景紧密相关的姓氏——比如,Rabinowitz代表了美国犹太人,而Washington则是典型的美国黑人。 We used two indicators of social status: the American Medical Association’s directory of physicians and registries of licensed attorneys, along with their dates of registration, in 25 states, covering 74 percent of the population. 我们采纳了两个衡量社会地位的指标:美国医学协会的内科医生名录和执业律师注册名单,以及注册时间,调查覆盖25个州,涵盖了此类人口的74%。 In the early to mid-20th century we found the expected regression toward the mean for all of these groups, except for Jews and blacks — which reflects the reality of quotas that had barred Jews from many elite schools, and of racial segregation, which was not fully outlawed until the 1960s. 我们发现,在20世纪初期至中叶,所有这些群体都如预想那样出现了均值回归的情形,只有犹太人和黑人除外——这反应了当时的现实状况:一是配额制限制了犹太人进入许多精英学校的机会,二是种族隔离,直到1960年代种族隔离才被全面视作非法。 Starting in the 1970s, Jews began, over all, a decline in social status, while blacks began a corresponding rise, at least as measured by the doctors’ directory. But both trends are very slow. At the current rate, for example, it will be 300 years before Ashkenazi Jews cease to be overrepresented among American doctors, and even 200 years from now the descendants of enslaved African-Americans will still be underrepresented. 从1970年代起,整体而言犹太人的社会地位开始下降,而黑人的社会地位则相应地开始上升,至少医生名录反映出的状况如此。但这两种趋势都十分缓慢。比方说,按现在的速度,得过300年后,阿什肯纳兹犹太人在美国医生群体中的过度代表情形才会消失,甚至200年后,曾为奴隶的非洲裔美国人的后代在医生群体中仍将存在代表不足的情形。 Family names tell you, for better or worse, a lot: The average life span of an American with the typically Jewish surname Katz is 80.2 years, compared with 64.6 years for those with the surname Begay (or Begaye), which is strongly associated with Native Americans. Heberts, whites of New France descent, live on average three years less than Dohertys, whites of Irish descent. 不管是好是坏,姓氏总是包含有大量信息:拥有典型的犹太姓氏Katz的美国人,其平均寿命是80.2岁,与此相对的则是拥有Begay(或是Begaye)这一与美洲土著紧密相关的姓氏的人,他们平均寿命只有64.6岁。新法兰西殖民地的白人后代比爱尔兰白人后代平均少活3年,前者的典型姓名是Hebert,而后者往往姓Doherty。 But to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been slow. 不过要澄清的是,我们发现并没有证据显示某些种族天生就比其他种族过得好。在美国拥有非常高社会地位的族群包括阿什肯纳兹犹太人、埃及科普特人、伊朗穆斯林、来自印度的印度教徒和基督徒,以及西非移民。法裔加拿大移民的后裔并没有种族歧视的烦恼,但同黑人一样,他们向社会上层的流动一直很缓慢。 Chen (a common Chinese surname) is of higher status than Churchill. Appiah (a Ghanaian surname) is higher than Olson (or Olsen), a common white surname of average status. Very little information about status can be surmised by the most common American surnames — the top five are Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown and Jones, which all originated in England — because they are held by a mix of whites and blacks. 姓Chen(常见的华裔姓氏)的比姓Churchill的社会地位高。姓Appiah(常见加纳姓氏)的比姓Olson(或Olsen)的社会地位高,后者是常见的普通白人的姓氏。从美国最常见的姓氏中很难得出关于社会地位的信息(前五位的姓氏是Smith、Johnson、Williams、Brown和Jones,他们都源自英格兰),因为这些人中有白人也有黑人。 Our findings were replicated in Chile, India, Japan, South Korea and, surprisingly, China, which stands out as a demonstration of the resilience of status — even after a Communist revolution nearly unparalleled in its ferocity, class hatred and mass displacement. 我们的发现在智利、印度、日本、韩国和中国都得到了印证。在中国的惊人发现向我们清晰地展示了社会地位的难以撼动,即便是在一场共产主义革命之后(其残暴程度、阶级仇恨的强度和人口迁移规模前所未有),情形仍是如此。 Hundreds of thousands of relatively prosperous mainland Chinese fled to Taiwan with the Nationalists in the late 1940s. Under Communist agrarian reform, as much as 43 percent of all land was seized and redistributed. The Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 saw purges of scholars and other former elites and “class enemies.” 1940年代末期,数百万大陆居民随国民党逃到台湾,他们都是相对富裕的中国人。中共的土地革命夺取了43%的土地并将其重新分配。1966年至1976年的文化大革命对学者、其他前社会精英分子以及“阶级敌人”进行了大清洗。 In China, there are only about 4,000 surnames; the 100 most common are held by nearly 85 percent of the population. Yet we were able to identify 13 rare surnames that were exceptionally overrepresented among successful candidates in imperial examinations in the 19th century. Remarkably, holders of these 13 surnames are disproportionately found now among professors and students at elite universities, government officials, and heads of corporate boards. Social mobility in the Communist era has accelerated, but by very little. Mao failed. 在中国,总共只有大约4,000种姓氏,其中最常见的100个占了85%的人口。不过我们仍选出了13种罕见姓氏,拥有这些姓氏的人在19世纪的科举考试成功者中的过度代表情形十分突出。在今天,这13个姓氏的拥有者在教授、名牌大学的学生、政府官员和公司高管中的占比也较高。在共产主义的时代,中国的社会流动性曾得到提升,但十分微弱。毛泽东的努力失败了。 These findings may surprise two groups that are often politically opposed: those who believe that certain “cultures” are higher-achieving than others and those who attribute success to family resources and social networks. 这些发现可能会让两种人吃惊,而这两种人通常在政见上互相对立:一是那些相信某些“文化”能比其他文化取得更大成就的人,二是那些将成功归因为家族资源和社会关系的人。 Culture is a nebulous category and it can’t explain the constant regression of family status — from the top and the bottom. High-status social groups in America are astonishingly diverse. There are representatives from nearly every major religious and ethnic group in the world — except for the group that led to the argument for culture as the foundation of social success: white European Protestants. Muslims are low-status in much of India and Europe, but Iranian Muslims are among the most elite of all groups in America. 文化这个范畴太过含糊不清,并不能解释家族地位的均值回归——不管是从高处回归还是从低处回归。美国上层社会群体是非常多元化的,这一点相当令人吃惊。在这些拥有较高社会地位的人中,你可以找到全世界几乎所有主要宗教和种族的代表——但没有来自欧洲的白人新教徒,这一群体往往被拿来佐证文化是取得社会成功的基础。穆斯林在印度和欧洲的大部分地区都处在社会底层,但是伊朗穆斯林却是美国最精英的群体之一。 Family resources and social networks are not irrelevant. Evidence has been found that programs from early childhood education to socioeconomic and racial classroom integration can yield lasting benefits for poor children. But the potential of such programs to alter the overall rate of social mobility in any major way is low. The societies that invest the most in helping disadvantaged children, like the Nordic countries, have produced absolute, commendable benefits for these children, but they have not changed their relative social position. 家族资源和人脉并不是无关的。有证据显示,从早期的儿童教育到社会经济和种族的一体化教育,这样的项目能够为贫穷家庭的孩子带来持续的好处。但是此类项目提高社会流动性的潜力都是很低的。那些煞费苦心帮助条件不利儿童的社会,比如北欧的国家,已经取得了明显的、可圈可点的益处,但都没能改变这些儿童的相对社会地位。 The notion of genetic transmission of “social competence” — some mysterious mix of drive and ability — may unsettle us. But studies of adoption, in some ways the most dramatic of social interventions, support this view. “社会竞争力”——某种神秘的内驱力和能力的混合体——能够通过基因遗传,这一想法也许会让我们感到不安。但是对领养(在某些方面这可谓是最激烈的社会干预行为了)的研究却支持这一观点。 A number of studies of adopted children in the United States and Nordic countries show convincingly that their life chances are more strongly predicted from their biological parents than their adoptive families. In America, for example, the I.Q. of adopted children correlates with their adoptive parents’ when they are young, but the correlation is close to zero by adulthood. There is a low correlation between the incomes and educational attainment of adopted children and those of their adoptive parents. 对美国和北欧被领养小孩的一些调查研究极有说服力地表明,从这些小孩的生物学父母——而非他们的养父母身上——的情况更能预测出他们的生活境遇。比如在美国,被领养小孩的智商在他们还小时同他们的养父母相关,但是当他们成年了,这种相关性就接近于0了。被领养孩子的收入和受教育程度同他们养父母的相关性不大。 These studies, along with studies of correlations across various types of siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is the main carrier of social status. 上述研究,加上对不同类型的兄弟姐妹(同卵双胞胎、异卵双胞胎、同母异父或同父异母)之间相关性的研究,都表明基因是决定社会地位的主要因素。 If we are right that nature predominates over nurture, and explains the low rate of social mobility, is that inherently a tragedy? It depends on your point of view. 如果真是大自然主导了出人头地的机会,并且是低社会流动性的罪魁祸首,那岂不是说,从根本上而言,这就是一个悲剧?这要看你怎么想。 The idea that low-status ancestors might keep someone down many generations later runs against most people’s notions of fairness. But at the same time, the large investments made by the super-elite in their kids — like those of the Manhattan hedge-funders who spend a fortune on preschool — are of no avail in preventing long-run downward mobility. 来自社会底层的祖先会让某人在时隔许多代以后仍然处在社会底层,这样的观点与大多数人对公平的理解相抵触。但同时,上层精英对孩子们的大量投资——比如对学前教育一掷千金的曼哈顿对冲基金经理们——并不能阻止子孙们在长久的时间跨度中社会地位的衰落。 Our findings do suggest that intermarriage among people of different strata will raise mobility over time. India, we found, has exceptionally low mobility in part because religion and caste have barred intermarriage. As long as mating is assortative — partners are of similar social status, regardless of ethnic, national or religious background — social mobility will remain low. 我们的发现确实表明不同社会地位的人通婚会在长期内增加社会流动性。我们发现印度的社会流动性异常之低,部分原因便是宗教和种姓制度阻碍了这种通婚。只要婚姻奉行“非同类不婚”原则——拥有相似的社会地位,不管其种族、国籍或是宗教背景如何——社会流动性就会一直处在低水平。 As the political theorist John Rawls suggested in his landmark work “A Theory of Justice” (1971), innate differences in talent and drive mean that, to create a fair society, the disadvantages of low social status should be limited. We are not suggesting that the fact of slow mobility means that policies to lift up the lives of the disadvantaged are for naught — quite the opposite. Sweden is, for the less well off, a better place to live than the United States, and that is a good thing. And opportunities for people to flourish to the best of their abilities are essential. 政治理论家罗尔斯在他里程碑式著作《正义论》(1971年)中提出,才干和内驱力的先天差异意味着,要创造一个公平的社会,卑微出身带来的不利需要予以限制。我们不是暗示社会流动性低这一事实意味着那些帮助处于不利地位的人的政策就是徒劳的——恰恰相反。瑞典,对生活并不宽裕的人来说,是个比美国更好的选择,而这是好事。让人们有机会最大限度地发挥他们的能力是至关重要的。 Large-scale, rapid social mobility is impossible to legislate. What governments can do is ameliorate the effects of life’s inherent unfairness. Where we will fall within the social spectrum is largely fated at birth. Given that fact, we have to decide how much reward, or punishment, should be attached to what is ultimately fickle and arbitrary, the lottery of your lineage. 大范围的、快速的社会流动是无法通过立法来实现的。政府能做的是削弱先天不公平所带来的后果。我们会处在阶层光谱的哪个位置,基本上在我们出生时就已经决定了。基于这一事实,我们必须决定的是,由“族谱彩票”这一终归是无情而武断的因素所决定的赏罚额该有多大。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——



已有1条评论

  1. 風紀委員 @ 2016-06-25, 11:43

    种瓜得瓜种豆得豆

    [回复]

发表评论