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How Different Factors Facilitate Social Mobility?

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 2
  • Course Code: SOC 274
  • Course Title: How Different Factors Facilitate Social Mobility?
  • University: Murdoch University
  • Country: AU

Social Mobility

The term mobility refers to the change, shift and movement in the process. The change takes place from one position to the other. The change in that case have some of the good and bad effects. The prefix of the term ‘social’ along with mobility stands for those individual or people occupying a social position, move to another position or status.

In terms of the social measurement there are actually various forms of movement may be upward or downward or it also may be inter-generational or intra-generational in that case. In a much precise manner, it can be interpreted that mobility stands for change in the nature or rather status of an individual from one position to the other.


Sorokin was known as the first sociologist who wrote a book on the topic of social mobility. The opinion which was stated there is no society which is completely closed or open in terms of the cast system. In that book it was also stated, no two societies are exactly same in respect to the movement which is proposed during the change. The change in the nature of the movement actually varies from time to time. The nature of change depends upon the behaviour of the society and its acceptability.

Social mobility is also known as movement, either upward or downward between higher or lower social classes people at a particular point of time. Further in a more precise manner such kind of movement is relative to time and functions based on the social role or the activities played by the higher- or lower-class people in the society.

The significant factors which facilitates social mobility are described below:

  • Gender

Gender is one of the important factors in social mobility. There are various people in the society which comprises both males and females receive different types of socialization 0in the form of family and employment. In such cases males are preferred most as they are considered to be the primary wage earner and adhere to some kind of responsibility towards the family's in terms of financial stability. Generally, females are traditionally not encouraged to pursue a higher learning or an enhanced educational prospect. But recently there has been an increase in the career prospects of both the male along with the female as they weren’t to achieve the highest status and respect in the society. Despite this change, however the opportunities that females receive for social mobility are still not equal to those of male.

  • Education

Education is considered as a significant factor of social mobility as education is positively correlated with the income which is needed to run the day to day livelihood operation. Education enhances social mobility by providing the individual with the significant skills required to enter the job market and further to compete against other available jobs in the market. Some of the jobs are for the freshers and the other jobs are available for the experienced candidates applied for a specialized filed of work. Occupational categories requiring a high level of education which actually provides higher salaries. It is significant for each and every students or personnel to at least finish the formal education prior to practicing that profession. In addition to that most of the organization demands high level educated personnel before entering the managerial level.

  • Social change

In case of social change both physical and mental change is required. Social change tends to brings improvement in every aspect of life which are the social, political, educational and economic. This changes further leads to the change in social status and position of an individual an example of the social mobility.

  • Urbanization and industrialization

Urbanization and industrialization play significant role in terms of bringing social mobility As considered by the renowned sociologists. Sociologists have found that agricultural societies are engaged to closed stratification system. Hence the personnel in rural Societies occupy the same kind of social status in their livelihood. Status is based on attribution; background of the family is also significant in that case. On the other hand, individuals who reside in urban or rather colonized areas, industrialized areas are always trying to accomplish new things in order to enhance the status of living.

Recently society are moving toward urban industrialization where the proportion of the unskilled labour in that case is reduced simultaneously. Employment in industrialized societies is largely based on possession of specialized skills which are acquired through the process of online training and technological savviness. For that many potential individual tries to grab the opportunities by enhancing the current skills which is posed by the professional or managerial category.

  • Transportation and communication

Transportation and communication also play significant role in the social mobility of the people. The traditions, attributes and behaviours of the people changes due to transportation and communication facilities. Due to rapid and fact technological change most of the people also want change in their social life and wants to enhance their current social status.

  • Dissatisfaction from previous condition

Dissatisfaction always remain with the adaptability with such kind of change in the system based on the previous condition of people. People can get change in their social life as the time passes by. People become dissatisfied from their previous condition tries to enhance their current status. For that reason, they often look for better opportunities for growth in the social status. Human beings adopt changes in the culture where they find satisfaction based on the social status and observes the social mobility simultaneously.

Causes of economic Inequality

i) Wages are determined by labour market

Wages are considered as the function of the market price and it requires typical selling skills. The market price of a commodity is further determined by the market demand and market supply. The market price of a skill, and hence the wages in that case is low if there are large number of workers when there is huge demand and vice versa. On the contrary, when there is low supply but high demand for a skill, the wage for a job in that scenario increases.

(ii) Education affects wages

Different wages are applicable for the different level of education system. The level of education provides various skills which is associated with the business. The person pursuing higher level of education actually poses greater skill in comparison with the lower level of education. In that case for higher level of education more fees are required which some of the people can only afford and those people are further paid hefty wages. The higher education is much more applicable in the urban areas compared to the rural areas.  

Now there are free education system in the much developed areas of the nation and stipends are also provided at various levels of education received by each individual as the financial matter are nothing in front their invincible qualities which are the intelligence, drive and personal ability.

iii) Growth in technology enhances the income gap

Technology plays significant role nowadays and growth in technology is the ultimate reason behind unemployment in the economy. The advancement of technology further facilitates in fast production along with minimum cost incurred for the business. This is much trouble some for the unskilled worker as their requirement are getting faded day by day due to such advancement in technologies. In case of the machinery industries works even more effectively and efficiently. The repetitive jobs are further eliminated regarding the adaptation of technology. Hence in that case the skilled workers are aware about such kind of radical change in the technological hub and accordingly they are also confident about not losing their job. In recent years artificial intelligence made the jobs much easier in that case.

iv) Gender does matter

In many countries, there is a gender income gap in the labour market which further means that the salaried women poses greater percentage than that of the men.

(v) Personal factors

Some of the personal factors also plays significant role in determining the wealth of an individual. Hence, individuals possessing different sets of abilities, the wealth in that case also varies depending on the economic inequality and various level of wealth. Suppose most of the individual are trying to accomplish higher level of education which further justifies a higher wage.

Difference between Open and Closed Stratification system

Open & Closed Stratification Systems

The term stratification refers to the different layers materials, colours, densities, and thicknesses. Within a stratified social system there are layers of people who varies according to the freedoms, opportunities, beliefs, colours, genders, etc. These layers helps to determine the level or status in the society which is further acknowledged by the other members of the society.

In case of open stratification system, the change in status occurs or differs accordingly. Any kind of difference in nature of the work signifies a completely different class a particular person is thriving.

In a closed stratification system, there is little or no chance for you to move to another level in society. It is significant to stay within the class a particular person is born and act accordingly.

Types of Social Mobility

  • Horizontal social mobility

Horizontal mobility is referred to as the type of mobility which change from left to right or right to left. In horizontal mobility, the social status of the people must be changed based on the social position of an individual remains at a constant level.

  • Vertical social mobility

Vertical mobility is referred to as the change in status of an individual which further fluctuates in an up and down basis. Suppose a particular manager of a department within an organization is suddenly promoted to the general manager which is an example of the upward vertical mobility. The promotion is attended by an increase in income and overall responsibility. On the other hand, the major league, baseball player who is sent back to the minor leagues has suffered downward vertical mobility.

  • Intergenerational mobility

Intergenerational mobility is referred to as the social mobility which occurs within a generation. Suppose a daughter of an auto driver gets stipend form the college and further continues to become successful medical doctor where it is clearly identified that intergenerational mobility has occurred. Downward intergenerational mobility may also take place as in the case of auto driver whose father is a physician.

  • Intra-generational mobility

Intra-generational mobility refers to a change in the social status of the individual group of individuals receding in the same generation.

  • Territorial Social Mobility

Territorial social mobility refers to the change in locality, territory or resistance when a particular individual shifts from one place to another place. The trend of territorial mobility is more renowned in the urban areas as compare to rural.

Glass Ceiling

The term glass ceiling is referred to as the artificial barrier that prevents a group of individuals such as the minorities which are promoted from the managerial level to the high level executives in order to achieve certain position in the organization. Basically the glass ceiling is used to evaluate the various kind of difficulties which is faced by women when trying to move to higher roles in a male-dominated hierarchy. In the corporate world it is the responsibility of the women to overcome the barriers as per the norms attached to the policies.

The glass ceiling in the United States of America is more driven by the debate which arises against the women participating in the work force. The certain percentage of the women is held at a much lower position than the position which are hold by men in the United States of America. Similarly in that case the income of the women is comparatively lower than that of the male working in the corporate world. 


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