Social Mobility, Vertical Social Mobility, Demand Mobility,
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
Similarly, those not identified
for sponsored mobility are not supported or given equality of
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.
In sponsored mobility, elite
status is not earned, but given on the basis of some objective criterion. Individuals must
be sponsored by one or more members already in the elite circle in order to gain access.
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
On Becoming a
Superintendent: Contest or Sponsored Mobility? Moody, Charles D., Sr.
Abstract: Studied the role of such professional contacts as consultants, mentors, and
advisors (specifically Blacks) in the selection and placement of Black school
superintendents. Found that White consultants were disproportionately selected by school
boards to advise on hiring decisions. Holds that sponsorship, mentorship, and networking
control and limit minority access to positions such as the superintendency. - eric.ed.gov
Grodsky, Eric. "Sponsored
Mobility in Higher Education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Sociological Association.
Abstract: A rational action perspective to the study of affirmative action in higher
education. I argue that the evolution of affirmative action policies in college
recruitment and admissions is best understood as a response by post-secondary institutions
to a variety of both external and internal forces. I suggest that affirmative action is a
variant of what Ralph Turner call sponsored mobility. Building on Skrentny, I suggest that
this form of sponsorship may have originated as an organizational response to a perceived
crisis in legitimacy brought on by the Civil Rights struggle. Over time, however,
affirmative action became part of the normative behaviors in which even moderately
competitive colleges engage.
A Sociological Study on the Educational System and Meritocracy of Singapore: The
Institute of Technical Education as a Rewarming-Up Apparatus - SIM, Choon Kiat,
(Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo)
ABSTRACT: Focusing on the rigorous selective educational system of Singapore, this paper
aims to paint a profile of the losers produced by the system and elucidate the
role of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) where losers are enrolled
it is shown that despite the lower social classes and academic achievements of the
losers, not only does their aspiration rise upon admission into ITE, but the
average time they spend on studies is comparable to that of the elites.
This study also demonstrates that the notion of being given a second chance and the
ability to see the prospects for a future job determine the average study hours of the
losers. Singapores educational system is unique in that while the
selection process may be rigorous, even the losers perform well in
international comparative studies on academic ability. It fits neither the European model
of sponsored mobility nor the US-Japan model of contest mobility.
Sponsored Mobility and Contest Mobility
Revisited: An Examination of Britain and the USA Today. - Morgan, Harriet P. -
Oxford Review of Education, v16 n1 p39-54 1990
Abstract: Examines the conceptual framework of sponsored and contest mobility originated
by Ralph H. Turner to illuminate student educational mobility in the British and U.S.
educational systems in 1960. Concludes that today entry into U.S. higher education is
determined by demand rather than ability but entry into the British higher education
system is more selective, limiting access. (SLM)
Sponsored Mobility and Contest Mobility Among
College Graduates: Measurement of the Relative Openness of a Social Structure -
Kinloch, Graham C. - Sociol Educ, 42, 4, 350-367, Fall '69
Abstract: This study is concerned with determining the significance of achievement and
ascriptive factors in the career mobility of graduate engineers. Difficulties regarding
the measurement of relative openness of a social structure are pointed out.
"Sponsored Mobility and Contest Mobility and
the School System." American Sociological Review 25 (6 December): 855-867.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1999.