Social mobility is the movement of an individual or group from one class or social status to another. Social mobility facilitates democratization by reducing the conflict over redistribution between the rich and the poor. Social mobility is the upward or downward movement within a stratification system. Sociologists see social mobility as a useful way to measure equality of opportunity.
Social mobility is typically measured by comparing the social status positions of adult children to that of their parents (intergenerational mobility), but social mobility can be measured by comparing a person's status position over their own lifetime (intragenerational mobility).
Capitalist societies are open-class and therefore one can expect a high degree of social mobility. According to liberal theory social mobility within a stratification system should result from a person's achievements and should not be based on ascribed characteristics such as sex, race, region of birth, and parent's class position.
Usually, the point of reference is an individual's class or status of social origin and social mobility occurs when later class or status positions differ from those of origin. Social mobility would be high where individuals have equal opportunity to achieve new statuses and low where there are inequalities of opportunity and processes of status ascription.
In social mobility we have
movement of individuals or groups from one position to another. Social mobility can be
horizontal social mobility or vertical social mobility .
We usually speak of moves up or
down taking into account factors such as occupation or education. For instance, upward
occupational mobility means moving from a lower status occupation to a higher status
occupation. Downward occupational mobility means moving from a high status occupation to
another, situated at a lower level.
Social mobility concentrates on changes in the socio economical status. Social mobility can be the result of structural changes in the working population, new positions become available or some positions experience a lack of people or efforts of individuals, to generate a certain position. (Vincke, 1998, p. 265).
There has never existed a society in which vertical social mobility has been absolutely free and the trasition from one social stratum to another has had no resistance. Every organized society is a stratified body. If veritcal social mobility were absolutely free, in the resultant society there would be no strata.
Social Mobility Abstracts
Social Mobility and Political Transitions Bahar Leventolu - Political Science from the University of Rochester - Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 17, No. 4, 465-496 (2005). The role of social mobility in political transitions. A political economy model of regime transitions that incorporates social mobility as a key feature of the economy.
Alcohol Consumption Behaviours and Social
Mobility in Men and Women of the Midspan Family Study - Carole L. Hart, George
Davey Smith, Mark N. Upton and Graham C. M. Watt - Alcohol and Alcoholism 2009.
Social Mobility and Modernization: A Journal of
Interdisciplinary History Reader. Edited by Robert I. Rotberg. Cambridge, Mass.,
London: The MIT Press.
SOCIAL MOBILITY WITHIN AND ACROSS GENERATIONS IN
BRITAIN SINCE 1851 JASON LONG - Department of Economics, Colby College and
Department of Economics and Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
The impact of social mobility and within-family
learning on voter preferences: Evidence from a sample of twins - Harry Krashinsky
- Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto
Kin Networks, Marriage, and Social Mobility in
Late Imperial China
The Consequences of Immigration for Social
Mobility: The Experience of Israel
Social Mobility and Intergroup Antagonism - A
Simulation - Burton B. Silver
Measuring Social Mobility as Unpredictability
Family Patterns Of Social Mobility Through Higher
Education In England In The 1930s
Poverty and social mobility in Lebanon: a few wild guesses - Inequality and poverty: a feature of the Shiite and the Sunni in Lebanon - Khoury El, M.; Panizza, U. Describes poverty in Lebanon and aims at measuring social mobility in Lebanon.
Social Mobility in Latin America - How is social mobility related to education policy in Latin America? A schooling gap regression analysis - Andersen, L.E. / Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Econůmicas (IISEC). This paper proposes a new measure of social mobility based on schooling gap regressions.
The Role of Higher Education in Social Mobility
Conventions and Social Mobility in Bargaining
Situations - in ELSE working papers from ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and
Social Evolution - Giovanni Ponti and Robert M. Seymour.
Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility
Social Mobility Bibliography
Tyree, Andrea, and Moshe Semyonov. 1983. Social Mobility and Immigrants or Immigrants and Social Mobility. American Sociological Review 48(4): 583-585.
Goldthorpe, John H., Catriona Llewellyn, and Clive Payne. 1987. Social Mobility and Class Structure in Modern Britain, 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon. Pp. 40-43.
Goldthorpe, John H., and Keith Hope. 1972. "Occupational Grading and Occupational Prestige." Pp. 19-80 in The Analysis of Social Mobility: Methods and Approaches, edited by Keith Hope. Oxford Studies in Social Mobility Working Papers I. Oxford: Clarendon.
Simkus, Albert. 1984. "Structural Transformation and Social Mobility." American Sociological Review 49(3): 291-307.
Slomczynski, Kazimierz M. and Tadeusz K. Krause. 1987. "Cross-National Similarity in Social Mobility Patterns: A Direct Test of the Featherman-Jones-Hauser Hypothesis." American Sociological Review 52(5): 598-611.
Stevens. 1981. "Social Mobility and Fertility: Two Effects in One." American Sociological Review: 46(5): 573-585.
Duncan, Otis Dudley. 1966. "Methodological Issues in the Analysis of Social Mobility." Pp. 51-97 in Social Structure and Mobility in Economic Development, edited by Neil J. Smelser and Seymour Martin Lipset. Chicago: Aldine.
Seeman, Melvin. 1977. "Some Real and Imaginary Consequences of Social Mobility." American Journal of Sociology 82(4): 757-782.