Essay on Social Mobility

Free essay on Social Mobility:

Social mobility is a process of movement of individuals between hierarchically organized elements of social structure.

We can define social mobility as any movement of a social object or individual, or anything having sociological status or position to a new position or status. In the development of the idea we may suppose that social mobility has actually two dimensions: it can be horizontal or it can be vertical.

Migration of some individuals from one country to another, from one confession to another, actually, from social position to another can be regarded as examples of horizontal social mobility. The same examples are the movement of social objects (radio, car, fashion, and even the theory on social mobility) without changing their social status.

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Under the vertical social mobility, we understand the processes that occur, when a social object or individual change his social status, that is to say goes up in his life or falls down on the social stairway. The theory of stratification shows that the vertical social mobility can be divided into descending and ascending. In every sphere of human activity, there can two direction: upward and downward. When we progress we may be as lucky as get into another, higher lever of the layer-cake we call society. Or, unfortunately, it can be the opposite direction, which is down and sometimes all the way to the bottom. There are even two scenarios of such a vertical transition: the first, we can go down or up without changing our social position – it comes with us, so to say – or, and it is amazing, isn’t it? we can simultaneously change our social position as well.

The intensity and universality of the vertical social mobility is different in each given case, that is, in space. To see this, it suffices to look at the Indian castes and contemporary American society. If you take the highest stratum in the political, economic, and professional pyramids in both societies, you will see that social status in India is defined before you were born, and there are only few individuals, who have reached the highest position, rising from the lower strata. However, about a third of famous American billionaires making their fortune in the finance or industry came up from low stratum, i.e., had been poor.

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