Social Mobility Essay

Social Mobility Essay

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Mobility is the characteristic of every social system.
Social mobility is the
movement of individuals, families and groups from one
social position to
another. It may be studied in terms of redistribution
of resources and power
among the different social strata and its effect on
the people involved. In the
status societies the social status of the person is
determined from his work.
Social mobility occurs whenever people move across
social class boundaries, from
one ⌠occupational level to another. The study of
Social Mobility is important
for a number of reasons: -
1. It matters to people to get on in life,
2. We can study people's life histories,
3. We can see changes in the class system,
4. The more mobile a society is may show it to be more
open and fairer,
5. Mobility affects the way classes are formed, their
size and shape.

A common sense notion regarding class in the U.S can
be represented as a few
rich people on the top, few poor people at the bottom,
and the middle class
majority in the center. Mostly everybody has a
comfortable standard of living.
If we divide the U.S. population in 5 equal
proportions and their corresponding
share of the nation¡¯s income we get the following:
¨i     Top 20% of the population receives 49.1% of
the total income
¨i     Second top 20% of the population receives
24.3% of the total income
¨i     Middle 20% of the population receives 15% of
the total income
¨i     Second bottom 20% of the population receives
8.9% of the total income
¨i     Bottom 20% of the population receives 3.6% of
the total income
The top 20% of the population have a disproportionate
share of the income
compared to their share in the population. Looking at
the standards of living by
consumption the ration between the top 20% and the
bottom 20% is 9:1. This
comparison illustrates great inequality in US society.
It is often said that
high levels of inequality is necessary because it
stimulates competition, it
creates incentives for excellence, and provides
rewards for performance. The
conflict perspective, on the other hand, argues that
people at the bottom won't
take it and they will work towards changing the status
quo. For instance, poor
people may use their vote to elect officials who will
represent their interests...


... middle of paper ...


...enturies. It's
roots are found in religious literature of around
1200-1000 BC, and, although it
has technically been abolished in India, in practice
it is still very much alive
and thriving. Being either one of these castes, does
affect one¡¯s position in
society and by all means, the social mobility.
Although there is not much
distinction between the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and
Vaishyas, if one is a ¡°Harijan¡±
there are obvious hindrances. The term coined by
Mahatma Gandhi, literally means
¡°People of the god¡±, and it was meant in every way
because these people also
called the untouchables, were literally the social
outcastes and had nobody¡¯s
support. Even till today, in Rural India the orthodox
people will not even drink
water from their hands. However, the government to is
making efforts to
abolish these distinctions.

Social Mobility in India and in the US has a very
different concept. In the US,
mobility is based on money, i.e. he who has money
dominates. However, in India,
money doesn¡¯t play an all-important role. There are
other factors that govern
social mobility and these factors do need to be looked
into because some of
these are not fit to exist in the 21st century.


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