Social Mobility Sean Murphy SOC/100 02JUN2010 Social Mobility Social mobility has two separate varieties and reflects on the similarities and differences between the generations with stratification variables. Absolute mobility is the movement of an individual through socio-economic structures of society. Absolute mobility compares the origin of social class versus their social class as an adult. Relative mobility looks at being socially mobile and how that varies according to an individuals’ beginning position. With regards to this paper, I am going to touch on education, religion, income, and occupation.
Also, resolving the questions as to whether one is upwardly or downwardly mobile; why are there differences, what caused them, how did these instances influence my attitude or behavioral methods? In society, the chance of attaining a place in occupational class structure is not determined by a person’s social class origin. Within my paper, I will look at my grandparents and their social mobility and how it changed with my parents and again with my family. Education is one factor which determines whether a person is upwardly mobile. Our family history starts with a split social mobility.
One set of grandparents attended college, the other did not. My maternal grandfather worked in the citrus groves and my grandmother stayed at home. Living paycheck to paycheck, they were able to stretch their resources to care for their seven children. They owned a small farm and all the children help with the chores. My paternal grandparents both attended college; my grandfather was an oil and natural gas surveyor and grandmother was an English teacher and later superintendent. . They both came of a higher social class family and therefore lived in comfort.
My grandfather traveled to Indonesia and helped develop and find more oil in the country. My father attended a four year college and my mother got her degree in nursing. My father was an Army man of 30 years, during that time he finished his degree in Accounting & Finance. My mother is an at home nurse . There were 6 children and while we always had a warm meal, our own beds, took vacations and owned our home, we were part of the working middle class. I entered the military shortly after high school, I spent 4 years in the Navy and since have been bartender and waiting tables, I now have decided to come back to school.
Comparing the similarities and differences, my educational pattern was much like my father, although I descided that I would do only 4 years in the service, The difference is, my father was quite successful in the military and from a business sense. My choice of selecting military before education was a good choice, I had not made any descions when I was that age and the military allowed me to travel and do things not very many people get to do. I have lived with not much money after the military to now doing alright with some good investments and the ability to go to school for free.
My social mobility allowed me to move around and by my own efforts has allowed the upward mobility. The continuation of this upward mobility is evident by my choice to attend college and get my degree. Religion was made difficult because both grandfathers held elder positions in their respective organizations. If we attended the other grandfather’s church, we were condemned. I learn about the hypocritical religious life that as a child. My parents found a church that welcomed us with open arms.
We became very involved and my mother, a trained pianist, became the head of the Jubilee Choir and the church organist. We, my grandparents, parents, and my immediate family all believe in God and live a Christian life. The similarity between us is we all believe and the difference is the label on the door. Income levels, with the exception of my maternal grandparents, are similar in all the variables. My maternal grandparents were at poverty levels most of their life. My paternal grandparents, parents did well with our income level and investments made with that income.
My parents and myself are similar in the fact that we all have worked most of our lives to support ourselves. The caste system of stratification is where I believe my family line falls. R. T. Schaefer states that caste membership is an ascribed status. The position which is assigned to a person without regard to the variables is an ascribed status. I believe that I am upwardly mobile as I continue to put into action those measures which will continue to change my social status. I have learned that individual strength to deal with all issues is a positive step toward upward mobility.
I have also learned from my grandparents and on through my parents to never settle for status quo and to reach for the parts of life that brings satisfaction. I am the product of absolute mobility. My choices and my occupational status allowed me expansion in upward mobility. Education has been a huge role in my upward social class status. Every individual has the power and ability to change the direction of their path to the upward slope. References Schaefer, R. T. (2003). Sociology: A brief Introduction (6th ed. ). Boston: McGraw-Hill.