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The underclass is the United States’ lowest tier. Members of the underclass live mainly in inner cities. Many are unemployed or underemployed. Those who do hold jobs typically perform menial tasks for little pay. Some of the underclass are homeless. For many, welfare systems provide a much-needed support through food assistance, medical care, housing, and the like.

Social mobility

Social mobility refers to the ability to change positions within a social stratification system. When people improve or diminish their economic status in a way that affects social class, they experience social mobility.

Individuals can experience upward or downward social mobility for a variety of reasons. Upward mobility refers to an increase—or upward shift—in social class. In the United States, people applaud the rags-to-riches achievements of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez or Michael Jordan. Bestselling author Stephen King worked as a janitor prior to being published. Oprah Winfrey grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi before becoming a powerful media personality. There are many stories of people rising from modest beginnings to fame and fortune. But the truth is that relative to the overall population, the number of people who rise from poverty to wealth is very small. Still, upward mobility is not only about becoming rich and famous. In the United States, people who earn a college degree, get a job promotion, or marry someone with a good income may move up socially. In contrast, downward mobility    indicates a lowering of one’s social class. Some people move downward because of business setbacks, unemployment, or illness. Dropping out of school, losing a job, or getting a divorce may result in a loss of income or status and, therefore, downward social mobility.

It is not uncommon for different generations of a family to belong to varying social classes. This is known as intergenerational mobility    . For example, an upper-class executive may have parents who belonged to the middle class. In turn, those parents may have been raised in the lower class. Patterns of intergenerational mobility can reflect long-term societal changes.

Similarly, intragenerational mobility    refers to changes in a person's social mobility over the course of his or her lifetime. For example, the wealth and prestige experienced by one person may be quite different from that of his or her siblings.

Structural mobility happens when societal changes enable a whole group of people to move up or down the social class ladder. Structural mobility is attributable to changes in society as a whole, not individual changes. In the first half of the twentieth century, industrialization expanded the U.S. economy, raising the standard of living and leading to upward structural mobility. In today’s work economy, the recent recession and the outsourcing of jobs overseas have contributed to high unemployment rates. Many people have experienced economic setbacks, creating a wave of downward structural mobility.

When analyzing the trends and movements in social mobility, sociologists consider all modes of mobility. Scholars recognize that mobility is not as common or easy to achieve as many people think. In fact, some consider social mobility a myth.

Questions & Answers

How many types of central tendency
khatun Reply
we have 3 types which are mean, median and mode
Ann
How far is Marxist Assession true. That religion is just an opium of people
Thulani Reply
what is social mobility
Hacking Reply
how in the he day-to-day world is religion ruling socialogy
Mugimba Reply
By setting it's own standard of acceptable norms and behaviours, using the Holy books etc
Chimba
what are the social institutions that maintain social control in the society
Uzair Reply
what is socialization
Uzair
explain the characteristics of planned social change
Hellen Reply
important of culture
Owolabi
what is social research
Rafaqat Reply
what is soft science
Rafaqat
what is fertility
gleyn Reply
what is social interaction
Zakir Reply
the 2 pespetives
Bendu
relationship between two or more individuals through social media, peer group, groups etc
Ann
A child is born a tabularrasa
Judith Reply
a child is born a tabularrasa.discuss the assetion
Judith
discuss the importance of modernization
Minsa Reply
what are the importance
Anesu
being happy and healthy
Jo
what is human capital theory
Luka Reply
human capital
hassan
human capital is the stock of knowledge intelligence and creativity embodies in the ability to perform labor in the production of economy value
hassan
what are the fuctions of socialization
Usman
what is the relationship between sociology and other disciplines
blunted Reply
why is Emile durkheim refers to as the founding father of academic sociology
Ojewande Reply
because he's the first founder of sociology 1789-1857
Alpha
what type of study could put human participants at risk? why?
ken Reply
u r studying or some how relate to social sector
shazab
drugs
Anesu
because in most cases the doing the study uses participant observation that is he or she will be involved in the drug act in order for him or her to get propriate results, data or information about the study of drugs.
Anesu
As my Opinions secondary type of Education could put risk like an Social media google and other resources which are not athentic they should very risky and as it is here we saw in the studies of drugs they totaly promote drugs for there profits I think SE could put human participants at risk.
Azhar

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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