Contest mobility is a British term referring to what North Americans would refer to as social mobility through equality of opportunity. In contest mobility, equal footing among individuals is assumed as a given. Achievement is attributed directly to the effort put in by each contestant. The idea is also referred to as tournament mobility.
Recruitment for positions in society is seen as a contest in which the contestants are competing freely. Contest mobility refers to system of social mobility in which all individuals are seen as participants in a race and the contest is an open one.
Sponsored Mobility is a British term, contrasted with contest mobility, to refer to a method of identifying people at an early age for social advancement and sponsoring, or supporting, them as they prepare for their rise to the top and then guaranteeing them a comfortable position.
Similarly, those not so identified or sponsored are not supported or given opportunity and thus are destined for positions at the bottom of the class structure. Sponsored Mobility is different from mobility allowance a social-security benefit payable to a disabled person to assist with the cost of travel.
"Sponsored mobility and Contest Mobility and the School System." American Sociological Review 25 (6 December): 855-867. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1999.
Sponsored Mobility and Contest Mobility
Revisited: An Examination of Britain and the USA Today. - Morgan, Harriet P.
Sponsored and Contest Mobility Among College
Graduates: Measurement of the Relative Openness of a Social Structure