Many structural and social factors determine just how much opportunity for mobility exists in a society for an individual or group of individuals. Following are some of the important causes and factors of social mobility:
- Social change
- Urbanization and industrialization
- Transportation and communication
- Dissatisfaction from previous condition
Gender is one of the important factors of social mobility. In American society, males and females receive different types of socialization reading employment and .family. Until very recently, males took for granted that they were to be the primary wage earner and ere to assume overall responsibility for the family’s financial stability. Females ware traditionally not encouraged to pursue a higher education or enter a career. Recently, there has been an increase in dual career families (families where both. wife and husband have careers) arid females in higher social statuses. Despite this change, however the opportunities that females receive for social mobility are still not equal to those of male.
A female’s age at the time of marriage is also an important factor in determining the likelihood of social mobility. Research suggests that they younger the female is at the time of marriage, the lower the probability of her gaining upward mobility. Females and males may also achieve vertical mobility by marrying into a social class higher than their own.
Education is an important factor of social mobility. An individual’s education is positively correlated with the income that he/she is likely to earn. Education increases social mobility by providing the individual with the skills necessary to enter the job market and to compete against other for a particular job. Most jobs require formal education provided by the school systems, although some jobs require experience that can only be acquired through work in the particular field. Occupational categories requiring a high level of education usually offer correspondingly higher salaries. Virtually all professions require a person to complete a given level of formal education prior to practicing that profession. In addition, the great majority of businesses require a person to complete a college education before entering the managerial level.
Both physical and mental change is necessary for social mobility. Social change brings improvement in every aspect of life i.e. social, political, educational and economic. Change in these aspects may leads to change in social status and position of an individual which is social mobility.
Urbanization and Industrialization
Both these factors of social mobility are important for sociologists. Sociologists have found that preindustrial or agricultural societies are most likely to have to closed stratification system. Typically, individuals in rural Societies will occupy the same social status throughout their lives. Status is based on ascription, family background being the most significant factor to be considered. On the other hand, individuals who reside in urbanized, industrialized areas where status is most likely based on achievement usually have the opportunity to move for one social class to another.
As societies, move toward urban industrialization, the proportion of people in the lower socioeconomic classes needed to perform unskilled labor is reduced. Employment in industrialized societies is largely based on possession of specialized skills that are acquired through education or training, and unskilled labor tasks are in many cases performed by machines and computers. Many individuals then have an opportunity to either move into a skill occupation or enter the professional or managerial category.
Transportation and Communication
Due to these two factors we can observe social mobility in the social life of people. The traditions, attributes and behaviors of the people get change due to transportation and communication facilities. People become aware of their social life and want change in their social status.
Dissatisfaction from Previous Condition
Last but not the least another cause of social mobility is the previous condition of people. People can get change in their social life as the time passing. People become dissatisfied from their previous condition and they desire for improvement in their social status. So, they start trying for getting better opportunities for growth of social position. Human beings adopt the new condition and culture in which they seek satisfaction which leads to change in their social status and thus we can observe social mobility.