What is Social Mobility? Meaning, Definition and Factors Affecting of Social Mobility

The increasing cost of education is also a barrier to social mobility. For many people, the cost of college is simply too high, and this prevents them from getting the education they need to get good jobs. 

This can lead to a cycle of poverty, as people are unable to get good jobs and earn enough money to pay for their children’s education. Here is our topic to get into action to introduce something about Social mobility.

What is Social Mobility? 

Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals or families from one social class or economic status to another within a society. 

Definition of Social Mobility 

According to P.A. Sorokin, “Social mobility is either horizontal or vertical. Horizontal mobility is the process of making changes on the same status level, while vertical mobility is the process of changing from one status to another, either to a higher or lower level.”

RT. Schaefer said that “Social mobility refers to movement of individuals or group from one position to another, of a society’s stratification system.”

CH. Persell said that “Social mobility refers to the movement from one status to another status within a stratified society.”

Harton and Hunt said that “Social mobility refers to progress or slip from a social strata.”

In the words of S. Bogardus, “Social mobility is any change in social position, such as occupational changes where persons move up or down the occupational scale, or relation to office whereby a follower becomes a leader, or a leap from a low economic class to a high one, or vice versa.”

Different Types of Social Mobility

Types of Social Mobility

There are different types of social mobility, including:

  • inter-generational, 
  • intra-generational, 
  • horizontal,  
  • vertical social mobility

Inter-generational mobility

Intergenerational social mobility is when someone’s social class changes from their parents’ social class. 

For example, if someone is born into a poor family but becomes a CA, they have experienced upward inter-generational social mobility.

Intra-generational social mobility

Intra-generational social mobility is when someone’s social class changes within their own lifetime. 

For example, if someone starts out as a cashier and is promoted to manager, they have experienced upward intra-generational social mobility.

Horizontal social mobility

Horizontal social mobility is when someone’s social class stays the same but their occupation changes. 

As example, if a teacher quits their job to become a social worker, they have experienced horizontal social mobility.

Vertical social mobility

Vertical social mobility is when someone’s social class changes, either up or down. 

Example, if a factory worker becomes a CEO, they have experienced upward vertical social mobility.

Factors Affecting Social Mobility

  • Individual Factor, 
  • Family factor, 
  • School factors, 
  • Societal Factors

Several factors influence social mobility. Individual factors like education, skills, and ambition play a crucial role. 

Family factors such as socioeconomic background and parental education also impact mobility. 

School factors, like the quality of education, can either support or hinder mobility. 

Societal factors, including economic opportunities and discrimination, further influence one’s ability to move up the social ladder.

Importance of Social Mobility

Social mobility holds immense significance. For individuals, 

it provides opportunities to escape poverty, achieve higher standards of living, and fulfil their potential. 

For society, increased mobility promotes fairness, reduces inequality, and stimulates economic growth by using the talents of all citizens.

How to Promote Social Mobility

So promoting social mobility requires combine efforts. Improving access to quality education, vocational training, and skill development programs can empower individuals. 

Addressing income inequality, ensuring equal job opportunities, and combating discrimination are vital steps. 

Also we can, create a supportive social safety net can provide a buffer against setbacks.


In my Perspective, social mobility is a vital aspect of a just and equitable society. 

By understanding and addressing the various factors that influence mobility, we can create an environment.

It enables individuals to overcome their circumstances, growing a brighter future for both individuals and society as a whole.

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