sir what is social mobility?
what are its types?
why social mobility happens.what are factors which encourage it?

Definition of Social Mobility:
Social mobility is shifting from one social status to another, commonly to a status that is either higher or lower.

Inter-generational and intra-generational mobility:
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")

Absolute mobility:
It can be "absolute": 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)

Relative mobility:
It can be "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

Social mobility across cast system:
According to some sociologists, social mobility across cast system is “absent”, because the stratification is of “static-rigid type”. According to other sociologists, social mobility across cast system can be in some cases “minimal”, when groups of lower-caste individuals seek to elevate the status of their caste by attempting to emulate the practices of higher castes, or when groups of lower-caste individuals change their social status over the generations by fission, re-location, and adoption of new rituals.

Social mobility in a class system:
Social mobility in a class system is of “vertical-flexible type”. Vertical flexible mobility refers to a movement of an individual or people or groups from one status to another. It involves change within the lifetime of an individual to a higher or lower status than the person had to begin with. The vertical mobility can take place in two ways - individuals and groups may improve their position in the hierarchy by moving upwards or their position might worsen and they may fall down the hierarchy. When individuals get into seats of political position; acquire money and exert influence over others because of their new status they are said to have achieved individual mobility. Like individuals even groups also attain high social mobility. When a dalit from a village becomes an important official it is a case of upward mobility. On the other hand an aristocrat or a member of an upper class may be dispossessed of his wealth and he is forced to enter a manual occupation. This is an example of downward mobility.

About factors upon what social mobility is based:
- Original social status (access to social capital arising from the family)  
- Qualification (level of education)
- Experiences in the labour market  
- Negative life experiences and resilience
- Positive life experiences and ability to use them

Some factors such as gender, race, religion, can limit upward social mobility, and many sociologists believe social mobility depends more on social structures - such as the opportunities offered to different groups of people - rather than individual efforts.

Personally, I add a good dose of luck: "being in the right place at the right time"
Hi, Cristina.  


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dr. Cristina Carpinelli


Cristina Carpinelli is a sociologist/politologist. She deals with research works, from economic and social point of view, concerning Central-Est Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland), South-Est Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, balkan Countries), Russia and all Former Soviet Union Countries. She has also become an expert on social welfare and gender and family politics in Countries mentioned above. She can't answer the questions relative to other geo-economic and political areas or about other questions outside her competence/knowledge. She lives and works in Milan (Italy).


Cristina Carpinelli wrote many articles and essays on the Ussr and on the transition of the Fsu from a planned economic system to a free market one. She wrote some books published by Nuovi Autori, Franco Angeli, Achab, Sedizioni, Zambon, Mimesis, Amazon.

She is a Scientific Committee Member of CeSPI (International Problems Study Center of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan ) as an expert on CEE (Central-Eastern Europe) and South-Eastern Europe (including Russia), and a monthly contributor to “noidonne” Magazine for gender and family politics in CEE (including Russia). She is part of the team experts of the U.S. Site “AllExperts” for the categories: “Sociology” and “Russia (News & Politics)”. She was part of the teaching staff for the training module “Objective Russia” (professional diploma for economic operators - ISPI school; module suspended from 2015) and now She is part of the teaching staff for the training module “European Union and ethnic and national minorities” (diploma in “European Affairs” - ISPI school). She is a member of the Italian Association for History Studies on Central and Eastern Europe (AISSECO - Since May 2015) and a member of the editorial staff of Mitteleuropean Social Watch (OSME - since January 2016).

La società sovietica negli anni della perestroika (Nuovi Autori, 1991); Donne e famiglia nella Russia sovietica (F. Angeli, 1998); Donne e povertà nella Russia di El’cin: l'era della transizione liberale (Franco Angeli, 2004); “Identities in Transition: Fsu Countries after the Collapse of Real Socialism” (CeSPI, 2004); La Russia a pezzi (Achab, 2008); “L’allargamento dell’Europa ai paesi dell’Est” (CeSPI, 2008), paper presented at the Conference “Quo vadis, Europe?”, organized by Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan, November 18, 2011; “Paesi Baltici tra integrazione europea e ‘apartheid’” in: Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta, Mimesis, 2014 (Conference proceedings “Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta”. Conference was organized by CeSPI and Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan; November 30, 2013); “Ucraina: un paese spaccato in due” (CeSPI, 2014), paper prepared for the Conference “Crisi Ucraina: quali possibili chiavi di lettura?” (May 16, 2014) organized by the Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) and by CeSPI; “Nato, Ucraina, Russia” (CeSPI, 2014); L’Unione Europea e le minoranze etniche: Case Studies: Ungheria, Romania e Paesi Baltici, co-author Massimo Congiu (CreateSpace - an Company, May 18, 2016). Coming soon: Russia as told through the history of its mass media.

Cristina Carpinelli graduated during the academic year 1983/84 with the thesis "Alcuni aspetti del processo di invecchiamento della popolazione in Unione Sovietica: demografia, previdenza sociale, occupazione e salute" (Some aspects of the ageing process of the population in the Soviet Union: demography, social security, jobs and health) - State University of Milan, Faculty of Political Sciences (Statistics Department). The thesis of degree was elaborated in the Ussr, at the State University Lomonosov of Moscow.

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