Social mobility is the movement of an individual or group from one social position to another over time.
Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals or groups in social positions over time. Most commonly, social mobility refers to the change in wealth and social status of individuals or families. However, it may also refer to changes in health status, literacy rate, education, or other variables among groups, such as classes, ethnic groups, or countries.
Social mobility typically refers to vertical mobility, movement of individuals or groups up or down from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marriage. Nonetheless, social mobility can also refer to horizontal mobility, movement from one position to another within the same social level, as when someone changes between two equally prestigious occupations.
In some cases, social mobility is intergenerational, as when children attain a higher or lower status than their parents held. Other times, social mobility is intra-generational, meaning that a person changes status within their lifetime. A high level of intergenerational mobility is often considered praiseworthy and can be seen as a sign of equality of opportunity in a society.
A distinction can also be drawn between absolute social mobility, which refers to the total observed movement of people between classes, and relative social mobility, which is an estimate of the chance of upward or downward movement of a member of one social class in comparison with a member from another class. An example of absolute social movement is when a regionís economic development provides quality education to a social group that previously did not have access to education, thus raising the groupís literacy level and socioeconomic status. Relative social mobility might refer to the opportunities presented to a middle class child born in a particular area of the United States, who might be predicted to attain a college level education and a maximum income of $80,000, for example.
Social mobility can be enabled to varying extents by economic capital, cultural capital, human capital, and social capital. Economic capital includes a personís financial and material resources, such as income and accumulated wealth. Cultural capital includes resources ranging from holding a graduate degree to having a grasp of a groupís customs and rituals, both of which may confer an advantage in job markets and social exchanges. Human capital refers to such individual traits as competence and work ethic, which may enable increased educational or professional attainment. Social capital includes the advantages conferred by oneís social network, such as access to professional opportunities and insider knowledge. These types of capital facilitate mobility by providing access to opportunities and the tools to acquire wealth and status.
Societies present different opportunities for mobility depending on their systems of value. For example, Western capitalist countries are generally meritocratic. In such countries, social standing is based on such personal attributes as educational attainment, income, and occupational prestige. Thus, the degree of mobility in Western capitalist states depends on the extent to which individuals have access to educational and economic opportunity. By contrast, in countries where religious devotion is valued over economic standing, mobility may depend upon individualsí access to religious rituals and shows of piety. In different countries or regions, the extent to which individuals have social mobility depends upon different factors.
3. In the sociological literature the problem of changing of social structure was considered only in the most general statement of a question. However a problem of social mobility in whole and its separate aspects still have not received more or less full working out. It concerns such questions as scientific and technical and economic bases of professional mobility, interrelation of factors, stability and mobility of professional groups, the mechanism of action of social mobility and its influence on efficiency of labour activity of workers.
In the conditions of industrially-innovative development of modern Kazakhstan it is necessary not only to study the external factors causing functioning and change of social mobility of workers, but also its internal mechanisms of change, shifts in a professional training, studying methods.
The investigation of mobility considers the next:
- social mobility occurs between real-life social communities and specificity of social object predetermines character of social moving;
- it is expedient to talk about social mobility when movings are carried out between different in a number of characteristics positions in a society: to level of complexity of carried out work, degree of its pithiness, a rate of commission, access to the material and cultural blessings from various funds of consumption, to prestige, volume of the power and order volume various patterns of ownership;
- studying of social mobility assumes allocation of groups, and as positions between which moving of individuals will be fixed. Not mobility is supposed to consider as a key to understanding of social structure and social relations, but reproduction of the last Ė is a key to understanding of mobility.
Social mobility of the person can be considered and as such mechanism by means of which conformity between professional structure and other elements of economic structure are established.
While studying the mobility of social groups in the Kazakhstanís society it is necessary to track:
1. Changes in structure of groups;
2. Changes in functions;
3. Changes in relations;
4. Changes in an environment.
In theoretical aspect at studying of social mobility of the person in modern Kazakhstan society it is possible to allocate four kinds of availability - actually-territorial, housing, legal and linguistic.
1) Territorial availability is connected with features of system of city and rural moving, a territory urban saturation, distances between cities. Real access of the population of region to city resources is rigidly determined by moving system. For example, the average distance between cities of Kazakhstan makes 250-280km. The average radius of service of one city exceeds 100 km, reaching in some regions 150 km. Therefore considerable weights of the population in the given regions are torn almost off from city resources.
2) In modern conditions economic availability becomes more and more significant factor. Transfer into a paid basis of many services in an education sphere, public health services, culture generates serious inter-regional contradictions. Many groups of population in regions of Central Asia, Russia, Transcaucasia, Ukraine simply cannot let themselves essential expenses for health services.
3) Legal availability is connected by that the establishment of departmental barriers does problematic social justice achievement in distribution of the social blessings between separate regions and groups of the population within regions.
4) Linguistic availability of vital topics that language of functioning of objects of industrial and non-productive appointment seriously influences real consumption of territorial resources. For example, language of functioning of mass media can essentially reduce possibilities of cultural and national groups of other language accessory.