social mobility


I am studying social work and I can’t seem to understand what social mobility is.

So basically, is social mobility when there is a link between someones occupation and income and their parents occupation and income meaning if someone’s parents has low income or occupation, their children get effected and are most likely to end up the same. ???

In: 4

Social Mobility is about making an educated guess about how likely it is that someone (an individual, a family, a whole community of people) is to be able to move up or down the “social ladder” of a country. In a country with low social mobility, wealthy people are going to stay wealthy, poor people are going to stay poor, and everyone else is more or less likely to stay where they are (sort of like what you are describing). In a country with high social mobility, there are more opportunities for people to move up (or maybe even down).

It’s usually not fair to talk about a whole population in one whole country, since different parts of the population will probably have different social mobility. Some might have easier access to higher education, others won’t. This might be because the cost of education is too high, or because the education system in the country only works in favor of people who are able to study and earn high grades in high school, and in a family where everyone has to work to make ends meet, the kids might not have a chance to study to earn those grades.

Income is a really common marker for it.

Education can be another one. Or health. Or race or gender. It depends a lot on the country and its different systems. Sometimes there is overlap between them.

Social mobility is being able to move from one class to another, for example, from working class to being a business owner to being someone who lives entirely off investments, etc.

Some societies have high social mobility, for example, the US. There is little technically stopping me from moving from lower class to higher class, what with there not being any actual class system, and it being pretty much just about money and income. If I have enough so my children can go to Harvard for just me writing a check, then we’ve had social mobility to that class level.

It’s the ability to move from one class to another with ease.

A more rigid one might be where there’s familial lineage of rights and privileges different than someone else of other lineage. Like the feudal system where you were “born” into a class.

Social mobility is the increase of income/assets/purchasing power during one’s lifetime. (Increasing salary, purchasing a home, being able to retire, ability to pass on assets as inheritance, etc.) Someone is more likely to achieve social mobility if they come from a low/moderate income background, because there’s more room for improvement (there’s really no need for social mobility if you have rich parents). Social mobility most often comes from education, job training programs, or other targeted social programs.