Social stratification is split into a class system and a caste system. Today I’d like to talk about the class system and more so in depth about mobility among classes. For background the class system of stratification refers to a set of people who share similar social statuses and achievements (achieved statuses). Mobility refers to the ability to change within social classes. Mobility is just a broad term for different things that can happen within the class system. For instance there is upward, downward, intergenerational, intragenerational, and structural mobility.
Upward and downward mobility are just the shift up or down in social class. This happens to many people and I think more so down then up. For instance I have met and known more people and families who have had a downward mobility shift due mostly to job loss. My own family has experienced a downward mobility shit when my father was layer off of his job. Intergenerational mobility is a shift in class between different generations of a family. For instance although I am not there yet, when my boyfriend and I complete our degrees and marry, with a combined income from both being doctors we will be considered upper class where as my parents are considered middle class. Intra generational mobility is class changes throughout their lifetime. Many of us start off with nothing but we may not be considered a class until we are on our own and working for ourselves. Many of us in college would be considered in poverty or if we’re luck as lower middle class but we work our way up to upper middle class or higher. I’m starting from the bottom and with my family we’d be considered lower-middle class but one day I will be upper class. Lastly structural mobility is when society allows a group to move up or down in a social class. This for instance could happen if we changed the income standards of poverty, middle class, or upper class. Similarly this might happen in a depression situation.