Social Mobility

Social mobility is defined as the status of an individual in the society whenever he or she moves across the social class boundaries. There are two known mobility, the intergenerational mobility which talks about the comparison of the parents to that of their children and the intragenerational mobility which encompasses the shifts that a person undergoes throughout his or her lifetime.
Society is the basic unit of analysis and individuals are what comprise a society. Every society has its own uniqueness; societies have its own share of culture, tradition and value consensus. There is what we call class in all societies; this decides where you are positioned and what your role in the society is. Mobility varies over societies. However, there is what we call the upward and the downward shift of mobility; the phenomena that drives people to go up or down.

Social mobility is important in the study of sociology because of various reasons. Through social mobility we would be able to know how people get on with their lives, we can study people’s history, what changes there have been in the class system, and the way classes are formed {Brogan, Sept. 1997 #1}.

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In the study of sociology, social stratification is denoted as the arrangement of social classes and strata within a society. According to the functionalist approach social stratification exists in most state societies, it helps in the stability of the social order within the society. Although they claim that social stratification is universal there is still diversity. Social stratification denotes inequality within the society, there is no equal access on the resources, on the services and on the positions in the society. However, in the conflict perspective by Max Weber, social stratification is powerfully influenced by status and power differentials. Weber differentiated the society into four classes, the upper class with properties, the white collar workers without properties, the bourgeoisie and the working class. According to Weber wealth, prestige and power are the main focus of social stratification. Those who have these three domains are the ones who have the power over the others {Prentice-Hall, 1995 #2}.

Social Mobility

As a young adult, many things have influenced my behavior. What have molded me to be the person I am now are the influences of the people around me. My parents were my disciplinarians; they have given me the most influential things in becoming the person I am now. My parents are my first teachers; they always have the authority over me because of what we call hierarchy. I play the role as their child and they play their role as my parents; the authoritative one. As their child, what I can just do is to obey them because they are the ones who are providing me what I need {O’Connor, 2003 #3}.

Many differences have been made between my parents and me. My father is into politics, we always argue about this because we have different perspectives, but in the end it is my father that is always correct; maybe this is due to the authority he has over me because I’m just his child. My mother is into the economic factors of the country, this is due to the fact that mother’s role in the household is to be the economist. She’s the one who is doing the budget and I don’t understand why she sometimes doesn’t give me the money I need. Sometimes she gives me money but it is not enough.

Social differences because of our own preferences will enable me to have my own identity and will enable me to be socially mobile because I have my own perspectives. Every child has a dream to encompass what their parents have reached in their lives. This is the upward side of social mobility; children tend to overcome what their parents have achieved. Intergenerational mobility is always present between parents and their children.

On the other hand, I and my grandparents are also not equal in terms of experiences and knowledge. But I do give them the respect that I give to my parents. Although there are arguments sometimes, older people tend to know everything because they have been on the earth for many years. My grandparents often tell me stories when they were young, they say they were so much into music that is meaningful and that they were all beautiful and then eventually they will compare it to the kind of music my generation has. Comparison is always present when we talk of generations, this is because the earth is continuously changing and we cannot do anything about that fact. Preferences also differ between me and my grandparents because we were born not in the same generation.

Comparison among generations is not always helpful in molding an individual. Sometimes people tend to feel smaller than the generalized others because of their differences. They sometimes tend to move downward instead of uplifting themselves. Although differences will sometimes tend to move people closer to their goals; diversity tends to move people closer to what they really are.

In any society, parents always have the power over their children because of what we call authority. Referent fear comes along with authority; this is the fear that we have over our parents because we know that if once we have done wrong they have the power to punish us.      Every single individual plays its own role in the society. One plays the role of a father, mother, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, cousin, niece, nephew; these are what we call the “me”, a particular role that is being played in the family. However, there is a main role in our society that we play and we denote this as the “I”, the role of a person as a whole. We ought to be responsible of the role that we have in our society.


Brogan, J. (Sept. 1997). Social Mobility [Electronic Version] from

Prentice-Hall, I. (1995). Social Stratification. [Electronic Version] from

O’Connor, M, J. (2003). Intro to Sociology Global Stratification [Electronic Version] from