Social Mobility – Open and Closed Systems, Types of Mobility, Sources, and Causes of Mobility | Sociology UPSC Notes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Social Mobility – Open and Closed Systems, Types of Mobility, Sources, and Causes of Mobility

Social Mobility:

People are known in society by their jobs and statuses. Both people and culture change over time. Men usually work hard to improve their standing in society, move from a lower position to a higher position, or get a better job from a worse job. People with better status and position may be forced to move down to a lower status and position for a variety of reasons. So, people will always move up and down the social status scale. This is known as “social mobility.” The study of how people move up or down in society is a key part of the study of social division. In fact, it can’t be separated from the system of social division because the nature, form, range, and degree of social mobility depend on the nature of the system itself. People are put into different layers, or “strata,” as part of the stratification system.

1. Wallace and Wallace say that social mobility is when a person or group of people move from one social class to another.W.P. Scott said that sociology is the study of how people or groups move from one 2.In other words, social mobility is the ability to move up or down in the social hierarchy. Pitrim A. Sorokin gave a standard definition of the idea of social mobility. Sorokin says that the change in place can be made by a person, a social object, or a social value. That is to say, social movement can happen to anything that has been made or changed by people. Social mobility is when the way people are ranked in a society changes. Most of the time, the difference is based on power, status, and special rights. In other words, there is a hierarchy in place in such societies.

The close system:

The closed system focuses on how the hierarchy is related to each other. It justifies the unequal distribution of means of production, status symbols, and places of power and discourages anyone from trying to change them. Any attempt to change such a system or make it easier for people to move is always stopped. In a closed society, each person’s place in the social structure is decided by things like age, birth date, and sex. When putting people in different roles, it doesn’t matter if they are functionally suitable or if they believe in the idea that everyone should have the same chances.

Open system:

In an open system, rules are set and people are encouraged to move around. There are different ways to rank things, such as standing, class, and power. In an open system, people are put in different places in the social structure based on how well they have done or what they have earned. In general, open systems mobility is marked by a wide range of jobs, a flexible leadership, a differentiating social structure, and fast change. In these kinds of systems, the power of groups that are based on things like caste, clan, or extended family, etc., decreases. In this kind of system, equality and freedom of the person, as well as change and new ideas, are the most important things. For example, India’s caste structure makes it hard to move up in society. In contrast, the system of stratification, or social class, in industrial countries allows for a lot of social mobility.

In Broader Perspective, there are four types of social division, each of which has its own way of moving up or down the social mobility.

1. The slave system: There were only two ways to move around: by being freed or by rebelling. Manumission was a practise in which a slave was freed from slavery without any conditions. A slave could rebel and add to his troubles by going to the country or becoming pending. So there was a unique way to move up in the slave scheme.

The monarch’s act of kindness made it possible for people to move around. He could put someone in a higher rank of movement. The professional guild was another way to move up. When a ruler gives a high-ranking job to a new loyal supporter, this can lead to social mobility. In the estate system, marriage was also a key way for women to move up in society.

3. The caste system is an example of a closed stratification system, in which a person’s place is mostly decided for them. Usually, it’s set at birth, and there’s not much he can do to change it. There aren’t many chances to move up in the world. Even though there are ways to move up in society: • The governmental system is flexible.

• Land is available for farming.

• Sanskritisation.

• Hypergamy.

 Usually, the caste system has the following traits: it doesn’t allow people to move around; caste membership is based on birth; it’s justified by the Karma theory (bad Karma in a previous life means a low birth); and it doesn’t allow people to marry outside of their group.

4. An open system of division is the class system. It gives people a lot of ways to move around. People’s place in the class system is mostly based on what they have done. So, success is the most important way to move up in the class system.

• In class-based systems, being a member is based on how well you do.

 Norms foresee mobility.

Chances for everyone; open form of mobility.

Even though equality is stressed, there are still some things that make it hard for people to move around. For example, no black person has ever been elected President of the United States. Most high-ranking jobs in the business world are held by guys. The rate of social movement may play a big role in how classes are formed. Anthony Giddens, for example, says that if the rate of social mobility is low, there will be a lot of class unity and cohesion. Most people will stay in the class they were born into, and this will “ensure that life experiences are repeated over generations.”

ALSO READ  India-Russia Relations : Bilateral Ties, Political & Economic Relations | UPSC Notes

Lipset says that the rate of social mobility in industrial countries is basically the same. According to them, there is no clear link between the rate of economic growth and the rate of mobility in industrial countries. Once a country has reached a certain level of development, social mobility becomes fairly easy.

Types of mobility:

There are two kinds of mobility: horizontal and vertical.

1. There is a difference between moving up and down the social ladder. The former is when a person or group changes their job or role without moving up or down in the social hierarchy. The latter is when a person or group moves up or down in the social hierarchy. When a farm worker moves to the city and gets a job in an industry or when a boss moves to a different company, their place in the hierarchy doesn’t change much. This is what horizontal movement looks like. Horizontal movement is moving from one place to another without moving your body. It means that someone has moved up or down within the same rank.

2. It is a change from one state to one that is the same. But if a factory worker becomes an investor or a lawyer, he has moved up or down the social ladder by a lot. This is an example of being able to move up and down. When someone or a group moves from one status to another, this is called “vertical mobility.” It means that a person’s status goes up or down during their lives.

Forms Of Vertical Social Mobility:

Vertical mobility can happen in two ways: people and groups can move up or down the hierarchy. If their situation in the hierarchy gets worse, they can move down the hierarchy. People are said to have achieved individual mobility when they get into positions of power, make money, and use their new rank to influence other people. Like people, groups can also move up in society. When a dalit from a village rises through the ranks to become an important figure, this is called “upward mobility.” On the other hand, an aristocrat or someone from the top class might lose his money and have to work in a manual job. This is an example of moving down the social ladder.

Social Mobility Across Generations

Time is an important part of moving up in society. There is also a type of intergenerational mobility that looks at how social mobility changes over time. It is a change in position from what a child was when they were living with their parents to what they are when they are adults. It means that family members’ roles change from one generation to the next. For instance, the son of a farmer could become a soldier. It’s important to know how much movement there is in a society because it tells us how much inequality is passed down from one generation to the next. If people don’t move around much from one generation to the next, there is a lot of inequality in the society because people’s life chances are set at birth. When there is mobility, it is clear that people can change their positions based on how hard they work, not on how they were born.

Intra-Generational Mobility:

Intra-generational Mobility is when a person moves from one status to another during his or her own lifetime. It means how a person moves up in society over the course of his or her life. It could also mean a change in a person’s social standing that happens during their adult life. For example, a person who works as a supervisor in a factory could get a raise and become the assistant manager of that factory.

Structural mobility:

A type of vertical movement is structural mobility. Structural mobility is when people move because of changes in the stratification order. It is when a certain group, class, or industry moves up or down in the system of stratification. It is a type of forced movement because it happens because of changes in the structure, not because people try to move. For example, past events or changes in the job market could cause a group of jobs to rise or fall in the social hierarchy. A lot of new foreigners may also change how the classes are set up, especially if a lot of them are very skilled or very unskilled.

Aside from this, sociologists have often looked at the social mobility in other ways.

First, it’s the difference between absolute and relative social movement. Absolute social mobility is the change in place that actually happens, while relative social mobility is measured in relation to other people.

2. The factual and subjective aspects of social mobility. Objective social mobility is real change based on objective factors, while subjective social mobility is how a person or others see him or her moving up the social ladder.

3. Structural Mobility vs. Circulation Mobility: Structural social mobility is the movement of people who already have a job. Because of changes in technology, skills, schooling, and policy, these kinds of people are able to move around in society. On the other hand, there are people who are not part of the social structure. When these people get jobs, it is called movement mobility.

4. Sponsored versus Contested – R.H. Turner, Sponsored social mobility is when a person moves up the social ladder because of a policy choice, like a policy of reservations. On the other hand, open competition is the basis of contested movement.

Mobility in India-through time:

During the Rig Vedic time, there were no limits on how people moved around. Ranking was based on ability, like how Brahmins were people who were good at learning (Brahma). Based on the military, the name Rajanya was given.

During the rule of the Mughals, it wasn’t completely closed. For example, the rise of the Rajputs—actually, Sakas and Huns groups from Central Asia came to gain political power and got the name Rajputs—shows that it wasn’t completely closed. Kayasthas went to work for the Mughal rulers and became scribes for the court. The Marathas used Kunbis for political purposes and later adopted a Kshatriya way of life. Craftspeople went to cities, got rich, and became Vaishyas.

ALSO READ  Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) | UPSC Notes

Sources and causes of mobility:

There are main factors that affect mobility in all societies, and secondary factors that are unique to certain societies at certain times. Among these things are:

1. The freedom of parents and children to move around.

2. The wrong way that people are placed in society.

3. The way the world changed.

4. The birth rate is lower in higher groups than in lower groups.

5. People died in the war, so they had to move around a lot.

6. Rapid development.

7. Migration

Social mobility is both a result of and a cause of social change. In different cultures, moving up the social ladder:

1.There were ordered societies before Horticulture, but not stratified ones. Due to overproduction in farmland, inequality started to become clear. People felt like they didn’t have enough, which led to social change.

2. Irrigated agriculture: Inequalities get worse, power gets concentrated, and positions are given based on merit.

3.Industrial society: People start to specialise their skills. Formal schooling grows, and the economy stops being tied to the home. In industrial societies, there is a lot more movement from one level to the next than in pre-industrial cultures. Because of this, industrial cultures are called “open” because they are not very “closed.”

4.In particular, it is said that rank is mostly given in pre-industrial societies, while it is more and more earned in industrial societies. Industrialised life in the future. So, social change is what makes people move around.

Other Factors Responsible For Mobility :

1. Personal talent: People with talents can move around in their culture. Simple societies respect military skills. So, people who are good at this get to move around more. This trend continues in industrial societies. Individual mobility is possible if a person has enough skill. But this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. For movement to happen on a large scale, there should be changes in the way society is built.

2. Industrialization and urbanisation: one of the things that affects social mobility. In Pre-industrial life, there are more and different kinds of jobs. The economy grows when there are many different jobs available. Economic growth is a major factor in making people more mobile. When there is steady growth in the environment, the third sector grows. Eco-growth by itself doesn’t make a big difference; it should go hand in hand with a fast growth of education. India: Unemployment rose in the 1990s. There was growth in areas that required specialised skills. So progress that required a lot of capital did not make a big difference in people’s lives.

3.Politicization and democratisation: Gives people who don’t have access to political power a chance to get power. It can be used to give the eco more respect and power. Changes in these areas of society help people move around. Mobility can be seen as a measure of both modernity and the rise of politics.

Changes and Continuity in social mobility in city and town

1. In the last few decades, new status hierarchies, or new places to compete for status, have become more noticeable than new ways for groups to move up or down in the standard status hierarchy. They came about because of the effects of urbanisation and westernisation, but they are still based on traditional ways of organising society.

2. Urbanism is not new to India, but the fast growth of cities is. India now has more people living in cities than ever before. This is because of the need for industrial jobs, the ease of contact over long distances, the better distribution of goods and services, and the better centralization of government.

3. Living in a city gives you some freedom from the ties and limits of belonging to rural social groups by giving you a level of anonymity and movement that you can’t get in a rural community.In the city, caste, faith, ritual, and tradition, as well as the social controls that come with them, are not as rigid or pervasive. People are more and more able to look for status and other rewards on their own or with a small group of people, mostly independent of their caste or other bigger social groups they are also a part of. They do this mostly by going to the city, but the ideals of the city have also spread to the country and made tradition less important there as well.

4. Urban Indians can get a lot of their status from how they act and what they have, not just where they were born. Harold Gould says that industrialization led to the move of all kinds of specialised jobs from the setting of kin groups to factories that were run on bureaucratic principles. This meant that the job role and the person who filled it would be separated, and that performance would be the most important factor in deciding what a job is, while economic rewards and social mobility would be the most important factors in deciding how valuable or important a role is.

5. Traditional caste position doesn’t go away when you move to the city. It is still important within the family and in the neighbourhood. Some neighbourhoods have the same kind of people and social structure as a town, while others don’t.

6. A lot of people who live in cities stay in touch with their home towns. Tradition and ascription are important in the city, especially in ties that affect how the family works day to day and how it will be made up in the future. Marriage is the best example of this. Most people spend less and less of their time, care, and energy on their main relationships in the city. A lot of how a person interacts with others is based on specific or even broken roles. He can often act in a way that fits the setting without having to think about the group he belongs to. He can even pretend to be a white-collar worker, student, middle-class homeowner, or professional by learning the surface signs of their status. In these positions, people from any caste or family can be recognised and rewarded for being good at a language, a job, making money, or living a good life, regardless of their caste or family.

ALSO READ  Mohammad Hussain Syed Biography, Age, UPSC Marksheet, Rank, Optional Subject, Preparation Strategy

7. In modern cities, there are more ways to move around and those who want to do so have a better chance of succeeding than in traditional villages, which are very organised and tightly controlled. There is mobility everywhere. Some low-status groups have been pushed out of their jobs by technology, which has hurt their economic, political, and social standing. They end up as landless workers in the countryside or as poor workers in cities, both of which are overcrowded and pay too little. Because of this, there is underemployment, unemployment, poverty, and few chances to get better. For example, people who carry water are part of a caste whose members have been pushed out of many places of Northern India since handpumps were invented.In some cases, new jobs have been made, and with them, chances to improve one’s income and social status. This gives people a certain amount of mobility.

Consequences of Mobility :

1. People are more likely to get along with each other when they have a lot of freedom to move around. Europe had a very strict social order, and the difference between classes was much more obvious.

2. Frank Parkin has called the high rate of people moving up in their jobs a “political safety valve.” It gives many skilled and ambitious people in the middle class chances to improve their lives. So, the frustration that could happen if there were no chances to move up is kept from happening.

3. More inspiration, productivity, and new ideas. So, people who are moving up are more productive. It helps the eco grow faster.

4. People who are driven by the desire to achieve do things that aren’t right in order to move up the ladder.

5. Weakens family ties. Suicide rate rises.

Case studies to improve the level of answers in UPSC Mains

1. Fox and Miller looked at 12 developed countries. He found that a good measure of mobility is moving from blue-collar jobs to white-collar work. The rate of movement was highest in places where the economy grew quickly and steadily, where more people went to school, where cities grew, and where the government was stable. But it was only in places where people were highly motivated to do well.

2. In 1970, Willmott and Yong looked at 174 managing directors in the London area as part of a study. It showed that 83% of the boys were the children of workers and managers. Stanworth and Giddens did a survey to find out where business chairs came from socially. They found that many of them came from the elite themselves.

3. A study by Halse and Crewe shows that in 1967, only 17% of the top administrative positions in the civil service were held by people from manual working-class backgrounds.

4. The Oxford study shows that there is a high rate of mobility into class 1, but it doesn’t show how much elites hire themselves. First, there is a lot of change in the way jobs are organised. With each new generation, there are fewer blue-collar jobs and more white-collar jobs. This helps explain why the Oxford study found that upward mobility is much greater than downward mobility. Second, the birth rates of women who work and women who don’t work are different. In particular, fathers from the working class have had more children than dads from the middle class. To fill those jobs, it was necessary to hire people from lower classes. Third, many sociologists have said that in an industrial society, occupational standing is more and more based on merit. People get jobs based on their skills and talents, not on who they know or who they are related to. People think that education is a key part of this process.

5. There are more and more educational options for all young people, no matter what their social background is. This makes society more open and increases the rate of social mobility. In Western industrial societies, the type and level of social mobility raise a number of questions about how classes form and why they fight. Marx thought that a lot of people moving between classes would make them less likely to stick together.

6. Peter Saunders: A longitudinal study is one that looks at the same group of people over a long time. We used data from a national poll of children. He took a group of 17,414 children born in 1958 and tracked their growth through their records until 1991. 6795 of them were working full time, and he was able to find them. He used the example of Goldthorpe. He found that 52% of people moved up from one generation to the next. Since most people are moving up, society is based on ability. He admits that men whose fathers were in the service class were 2.6 times more likely to be in the service class than those whose fathers were in the working class. This shows that where you came from did matter. But as society moves towards being more merit-based, merit and class standing are becoming more linked. Savage and Egerton said it wasn’t true. A group from the National Child Development Survey was used. 40% of the children in the intermediate class were also in the service class. 25% of the children of working-class parents were also in the working class. It shows that class is important and calls into question the ability standard. Children who are smart do well in school because of their family background and training.

7.75.5% of high-achieving children from the service class went into the service class (both parents were high achievers). Only 45% of high-achieving kids from the working class joined the service class (a sign of class inequality). So, class background is important. Society is not only based on ability.

8. Ralf Dahrendorf thinks that things have come to a point in modern western countries where there are many chances for people to get ahead. People don’t have to work together as members of the same social class as much to make their lives better. In Dahrendorf’s words, “people are more likely to compete with each other as individuals for a place in the sun” than to make their claims as members of similar groups. “Mobility makes groups less cohesive and class conflicts less intense, but it doesn’t get rid of either one.”