Social mobility

Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society.[1] It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location within a given society. This movement occurs between layers or tiers in an open system of social stratification. Open stratification systems are those in which at least some value is given to achieved status characteristics in a society. The movement can be in a downward or upward direction.[2] Markers for social mobility, such as education and class, are used to predict, discuss, and learn more about an individual or a group's mobility in society.

Illustration from a 1916 advertisement for a vocational school in the back of a US magazine. Education has been seen as a key to social mobility, and the advertisement appealed to Americans' belief in the possibility of self-betterment as well as threatening the consequences of downward mobility in the great income inequality existing during the Industrial Revolution.