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Why Is It Difficult For Women To Become Socially Mobile In A 3rd World Situation

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Social mobility is the degree to which, in a given society, an individual's, family's, or group's social status can change throughout the course of their life through a system of social hierarchy or stratification. ...view middle of the document...

Mobility is much more frequent in countries that use achievement as the basis for status (U.S. & Canada). However, societies differ on the amount of mobility that occurs due to the direction of structural changes in their overall status systems.


1. Structural mobility: Structural mobility is a type of forced vertical mobility that results from a change in the distribution of statuses in a society. It occurs when the demands of a particular occupation reach its max and more people are needed to help fill the positions.

2. Exchange mobility is that which is not structural. The key word "exchange" means trade-off. This means instead of positions reaching the max and more people are needed, positions are dropped and someone else must step up to fill the position. When ascriptive status in play, there is not much exchange mobility occurring.

3. Upward social mobility is a change in a person's social status resulting in that person receiving a higher position in their status system. A prime example of an opportunity for upward mobility nowadays is athletics. There are an increased number of minorities seeking careers as professional athletes which can either lead to improved social status or could potentially harm them due to neglecting other aspects of their life (ex. education).

4. Downward mobility Likewise, downward mobility results in a lower position. This is because social mobility runs in both directions and some people fail to maintain the rank into which they were born.

5. Absolute mobility is the aggregate of individuals' movement through the socio-economic structure of a society over time. It is measured by comparing the social class origin of an individual (usually determined by their parents' social class) against their social class 'destination' as an adult. Absolute mobility can increase if there are changes to the occupational structure as a whole.

6. Relative mobility considers how the chance of being socially mobile varies according to starting position. In a meritocratic society it is expected that the chance of attaining a particular place in the occupational class structure will not be strongly determined by one's social class origin.
Official or legally recognized class designations do not exist in modern western democracies and it is considered possible for individuals to move from poverty to wealth or political prominence within one generation. Despite this formal opportunity for social mobility, recent research suggests that Britain and particularly the United States have less social mobility than the Nordic countries and Canada. The case is even far worse in the developing economies of the third world.
Social mobility is a complex and multi-faceted concept. Exploration of the range of factors influencing social mobility reveals some important themes, but the complex relationship between these means that it is inappropriate to make firm judgments about the...

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