Mobility - what is it?

The topic of this article is social mobility. This is a very important topic for a sociologist. Her pass today at school in the lessons of social studies. After all, knowledge of the society in which we live is necessary for everyone. Nowadays, when changes in the world occur very quickly, this is especially true.


Social mobility is a phenomenon in society, representing a change in the social status of an individual, organization, group, country. Sorokin Pitirim Alexandrovich, a Russian sociologist who emigrated to the United States during the first wave of emigration, is the founder of the concept of mobility in society. Photos of this scientist are presented below.

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In his works, he interpreted the concept of mobility itself rather broadly, applying it not only to the movement of groups and individuals, but also to social theories and ideologies.

Individual and group mobility is ...

The classification of types of mobility follows from the above definition of it. It can be individual - such social mobility is associated with the movement of individuals, that is, individuals. There is also group mobility.This is when the status of social strata, categories, groups and even states changes.

Horizontal mobility

There is another division of it - into horizontal and vertical. Horizontal mobility is a change in a certain nominal status, as well as a transformation that is not associated with significant movement in the so-called stratification variables. This, for example, change of religious affiliation. Also horizontal mobility is the transition of an individual from one organization to another to a position that is approximately the same in terms of prestige. In such a situation, the condition should be observed when these organizations are approximately equal status.

Vertical mobility

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Vertical mobility is the movement of groups and individuals in a society between different positions in the stratification hierarchy. Mobility is sometimes defined only as vertical. However, this approach can hardly be called correct. Vertical mobility is just a variation of it. Indeed, in the case of the identification of these concepts, in order to denote the movement between these or other nominal positions, it is necessary to introduce a separate term.Vertical mobility is divided into downward, associated with a decrease in social status, and upward.

The division of mobility into intergenerational and intragenerative

Mobility, in addition, is intergenerational and intragenerational. The latter is a change in the position of an individual during his life (career development). Intergenerational mobility refers to the position of individual social groups and categories, individuals and families compared to the position occupied by their parents and other ancestors.

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Structural and non-structural mobility

Mobility is also subdivided into structural and non-structural. The first leads to a change in the social structure as a whole. As an example, a change in structure occurred during the period of modernization in Soviet society (1930-60s). Non-structural mobility is any movement occurring in the system of status variables that is not associated with a significant change in the social structure.

Migration in a broad and narrow sense

Migrations, that is, territorial movements of the population, can also be viewed as a form of social mobility.In a broad sense, they are understood to mean any movement beyond the boundaries of a certain territory of its population (usually this territory is a settlement). At the same time, the purpose for which and for how long the procedure takes place is immaterial.

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However, in the popular scientific and scientific literature, the narrow interpretation of the concept of "migration" is much more often used. According to her, this movement, which is associated with a change of place of permanent residence.

Seasonal and Pendulum Migration

In a broad sense, migration includes, besides moving to a permanent place of residence, seasonal and pendulum migration. The second is the regular movement of people between several (two or more) localities. At the same time, their place of residence does not change. Such migration is connected with work, leisure or study. These are most often daily trips. Sometimes, however, travels made for longer periods (usually within one week) are also considered pendulum migrations.

Two important grounds for a sociologist to classify migration

Many attributes exist to classify migration flows.The most important for a sociologist are the following two:

1. Migrations occurring between settlements, the rank of which is different. In some cases, migration - vertical social mobility. This is observed when it is associated with a decrease or increase in the status of a person who has a certain place of residence. In others, it is horizontal (in the event that the move takes place between settlements with the same rank). Today, migration as a vertical social mobility is a phenomenon associated mainly with the process of urbanization. After all, moving from villages to cities is a necessary element of this process.

human mobility is

2. External and internal migrations. This division is considered rather relative. Human migration mobility is a vast phenomenon that is not amenable to strict classification. Official statistics usually mean internal migration of people moving to a new place of residence within the same country. Foreign is meant to move to a sufficiently long or permanent residence in another country.However, sometimes, depending on what goals a particular sociological study pursues, as external, migrations between different subjects of the federation are also considered.

Social mobility in Russia in the 18-19 centuries

Throughout the history of the development of our state, the nature of the mobility of its population has changed. These changes can be recorded quite accurately from the beginning of the 18th century. Russia, like any other semi-agrarian and agrarian society, was characterized by a rather low vertical mobility rate until the end of the 19th century. In these years, the basis of the structure of society were estates. The boundaries of class groups, however, were at that time more permeable than in Europe at the time of classical feudalism. The policy of absolutism pursued by the state contributed to this. Although the outflow was hardly noticeable in relation to the total number of the peasantry due to the high proportion of its representatives in the country's population, in relation to the urban estates and the nobility there were very high rates of mobility. Paying a tax rate and a ransom, people from the peasants got into the city estates quite easily,could advance in the public hierarchy up to the merchants of the first guild. The ranks of the service nobility were also very intensively replenished. Of all the estates of Russia, its representatives were nominated - from the clergy, merchants, townspeople, and peasants.

The structural mobility of the society of this time (since the time of Peter I, at least) was insignificant. That is, the layers that make up the structure of society remained unchanged. Until the 1870s, only their quantitative ratio changed insignificantly.

Mobility in the post-Petrine time

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During the next 140 years following the reign of Peter I, Russia experienced not only a very intensive vertical mobility. The structural social mobility of the society of this time was also significant and took place in several stages. At first (1870-1917), the class of the proletariat and the industrial bourgeoisie gradually formed in Russia. After that, mainly from 1930 to 1970, the intensive process of modernization proceeded. At that time, a structure was being formed that was already close to the corresponding one in the industrial and post-industrial societies. The difference was that the class of private entrepreneurs was absent. In addition, the sphere in which market relations operated was substantially limited.Since the 1990s, the third stage of structural mobility began in our society. It is associated with the formation in Russia of a post-industrial society, which is based on a market economy.

Changes in the prestige of professions, high rates of inter-and intragenerational mobility

vertical mobility is

In the process of the above-described structural changes, not only the quantitative ratio of the various social strata changed. The relative prestige of certain professions also did not remain unchanged. For example, in the 1930-1950s, the most prestigious were technical professions (skilled worker, engineer), in 1950-1970s, the professions associated with science, and from the mid-80s of the last century, related to finance and trade. During the whole period, there were observed very high rates of intergenerational and intragenerational mobility, as well as a low level of isolation of various professional groups. This was noted not only by domestic sociologists, but also by Westerners.

Territorial migration at different times

During this period, territorial mobility rates were also extremely high (both horizontal to construction sites and newly developed areas, and vertical - from village to city). Migration only from the mid-70s of the last century began to decline.Nevertheless, since the beginning of the 90s, its rates have been growing again. A lot of people migrate to the regions of the Russian Federation from the former Soviet republics.

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