Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups in social standing social position It may refer to classes, ethnic groups, or entire nations, and may measure health status, literacy, or education — but more commonly it refers to individuals or families, and their change in income. It also typically refers to vertical mobility—movement of individuals or groups up (or down) from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marriage; but can also refer to horizontal mobility—movement from one position to another within the same social level.
Social mobility can be the change in status between someone (or a group) and their parents/previous family generations ("inter-generational"); or over the change during one's lifetime ("intra-generational"). It can be "absolute"—i.e. total amount of movement of people between classes, usually over one generation (such as when education and economic development raises the socio-economic level of a population); or "relative"—an estimation of the chance of upward (or downward) social mobility of a member of one social class in comparison with a member from another class. A higher level of intergenerational mobility is often considered a sign of greater fairness, or equality of opportunity, in a society.
Mobility is enabled to a varying extent by economic capital, cultural capital (such as higher education), human capital (such as competence and effort in labour), social capital (such as support from one's social network), physical capital (such as ownership of tools, or the 'means of production'), and symbolic capital (such as the worth of an official title, status class, celebrity, etc.).
Read more about Intergenerational Mobility: Inter- and Intra-generational Mobility, Absolute and Relative Mobility, Rules of Status: Ascription and Achievement, Structural and Exchange Mobility, Upward and Downward Mobility, Country Comparison, Class Cultures and Networks, Social System
Famous quotes containing the word mobility:
“One set of messages of the society we live in is: Consume. Grow. Do what you want. Amuse yourselves. The very working of this economic system, which has bestowed these unprecedented liberties, most cherished in the form of physical mobility and material prosperity, depends on encouraging people to defy limits.”
—Susan Sontag (b. 1933)