Social MobilityThere is no doubt that intelligent people are among all classes and if there are no barriers in advancing, we can expect that some people can move up in social stratification but generally there are many barriers that hinder their upward movement and the rate of mobility is proportion to the barriers but it cannot block it and together. The rate of social mobility points out the fact of closeness or openness of class system.
“An open system implies that the position of each individual is influenced by the person’s achieved status while closed system, in which there is little or possibility of individual mobility, that is, slavery and caste system of stratification.”
Definitions of Social Mobility1. RT. Schaefer :
“Social mobility refers to movement of individuals or group from one position to another, of a society’s stratification system."
2. CH. Persell :
“Social mobility refers to the movement from one status to another status within a stratified society.”
3. Harton and Hunt :
“Social mobility refers to progress or slip from a social strata.”
Types of Social Mobility1. Horizontal Mobility :
“Horizontal mobility refers to the movement of a person from one social position to another of the same rank.” For instance, a shopkeeper doing the business of share selling, starts another business of selling cloth or an officer of grade seventeen adopts the lectureship of grade seventeen. This does not affect the economic position and social strata of an individual and his social class remains the same.
2. Vertical Mobility :
Sociologists and economists, in the analysis of structure and‘ functions of social stratification, take more interest in vertical instead of horizontal mobility. In this, an individual moves from his inferior social position to a superior social position.
“Vertical mobility, refers to the movement of a person from one social position to another of a different rank.”
i. Upward Social Mobility :
If a person of inferior status in a society moves towards a superior social position, he is moving upward or has upward mobility. Just as, a teacher after doing M.Phil becomes a professor in a college or a lawyer becomes a judge.
ii. Downward Social Mobility :
If a person of higher or superior social position moves towards an inferior social position, it is called downward mobility. Just as, a big businessman because of great loss in business becomes a beggar or an officer is dismissed because of his serious offence and is deprived of all privileges.
3. Terrestrial Mobility :
It is to move from one geographical place to another in search of better job or to keep that social position in the social stratification. For instance, individual from Charsadda or Rajinpur residing in Lahore or Karachi in search of employment as to avoid the pressure of tribal heads is terrestrial mobility.
4. Inter-generational Mobility :
Transferring from one race' to another '-race, the change is called intergenerational mobility.
in other words,
“lntergenerational mobility involves changes in the social position of children relative to their parents, or refers to a vertical change of social status from one generation to the next.”
For instance, a son of a carpenter becomes a doctor or an engineer or the son of a police officer adopts a profession of a shopkeeper. It is called an intergenerational mobility.
“Intragenerational mobility, refers to the vertical mobility experienced by a single individual within his or her own lifetime.”
For instance, a woman starts her career as a primary schoolteacher to reach higher position of headmistress of a high school or principal or director till her retirement. Then such a change in status is called intragenerational mobility. Sociologists gave this type of mobility great importance while analyzing such cases for research study.
5. Structural Mobility :
“Structural mobility, refers to the vertical movement of a specific group, class or occupation relative to others in the stratification system”.
For instance, Motor cycle, Rickshaws produced economic difficulties for Tonga-men to become unemployed‘or poor or rapid increase in construction, cause increase in the income of plumber and electricians and their mobility from lower status to higher status is called Structural Mobility and it points towards some society to be open and to be providing chances of promotion.
Factors Affecting Social Mobility1. Economic Structural Changes :
The changes taking place in the structure of a society are subject to social mobility in an observing manner. If the economy of a society is based on agriculture and that changes' into an industrial society then many people get the chances of employment, income increases and standard of life rises. As a result, the social stratification of an individual improves or if traditional pattern of agriculture is changed into mechanical agriculture the production is increased and results in better position of the social stratification: The progress of technology also opens new economic fields which raise the social status of skilled people.
2. Modernization :
The modernity and innovatory level divert the attention of the individuals of a society towards new, discoveries and inventions which create a passion for better social life and efforts to increase income, become fast. There is rapid advancement in economic activities, new employments are created and social position of individuals becomes a source of upward political mobility.
3. Improvement in Communication Means :
All means of communications are a course of social interaction, connections are increased, information is increased, new economic sources take place, new business is started, running business is improved and production is increased. Rapid means of communications help in sending goods to the market and increase in income, affects social mobility.
4. Education and Social Awareness :
Such societies, where education is common and every individual has equal chances of getting education, there is a facility of moving from inferior position to superior position. C. Heller on the basis of his study has observed, that education is an important effective element in the inter over intragenerational mobility.
In addition, the level towards social progress and a consciousness of making life better is the important functions of social mobility and. increase the chances of vertical mobility.