Social issues are matters that negatively affect the society directly or indirectly (Callahan, 2010). In today’s society, many social issues are affecting community members. Among the many issues, crime, violence, social mobility, and poverty are the most common. The main aim of this paper is to discuss the issue of social mobility and its impact on the society. The paper will also discuss how the society can overcome the issue of social mobility to promote social change.
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In every society, there is the issue of hierarchy and members of the society move up or down the hierarchy at one time of their lives (Rotberg, 2000). As such, the society has defined social mobility as how far and how simply a individual can move up or down the social class (Rotberg, 2000).
The issue of social mobility is determined by what the society values (Callahan, 2010). If the society values education, then people who are most educated are considered to occupy the highest rank of the social system. Those with little or no education are considered to occupy the lowest position in the social system.
Some communities have a rigid social system such as the caste system (Callahan, 2010). In such a system, social mobility is not possible. However, this trend is fading and social mobility has become flexible since people are able to move up the ladder of social status. Although the standards of social class have changed, social class is still an issue that affects the society (Callahan, 2010). People are still socializing based on wealth, education, and race among other issues.
According to Callahan (2010), there are several groups of people in the society affected by issue of social mobility. For a very long time, the society has encouraged men to be the breadwinners. As a result, the society has provided more resources and opportunities to men giving them a chance to move up the social ladder. Because of this, women are more affected and have lower social mobility since they lack access to resources and opportunities.
Poor people who cannot pay for education or internship opportunities experience difficulties moving up the social ladder (Sorokin, 1998). In addition, young people especially from low-income families are affected because they cannot pay for good education or get access to other opportunities like industrial attachment to acquire experience for better jobs (Callahan, 2010).
Minority groups are also among the vulnerable category. People from this group face challenges moving up the social ladder because most of the individuals work in the low income sectors that do not provide high opportunities for social mobility. This includes immigrants in the US who lack opportunities for social mobility due to language barrier and lack of professional skills (Callahan, 2010).
Finally, those people with little or no education are not able to move up the social ladder since they work in areas that do not require professional skills and earn little income. Education enables people to attain upward mobility since it provides individuals with good jobs that guarantee high income and economical stability.
For a long time, the issue of social mobility was not flexible and people were restricted to their social class (Rotberg, 2000). Over the years, people have embraced changes and they are moving away from the rigid social system. Today people are encouraging changes concerning issue of social mobility by embracing democratic ideals and people are able to enjoy equal opportunities (Rotberg, 2000).
Today, laws have been developed to accommodate the needs of every citizen regardless of race, age, and gender. As such, women who were in the past considered as homemakers are now occupying positions in the society. In fact, some are presidents, senates, and members of parliament. This gives the women political power that is highly regarded as top position in social system. Therefore, unlike in the past, women can move up the social ladder because of equal opportunities.
In addition to this, due to change of culture, individuals from different social class can be able to socialize in terms of marriage (Rotberg, 2000). Unlike in the past when individuals only socialized and married people from the same social class, the society is undergoing changes and people of high class can marry people of low class as long as they love each other.
These changes mean that people belonging to a low social class can be able to move up the ladder and occupy high status in the society. For instance, a prince can marry a commoner due to change in culture (Sorokin, 1998).
Lastly, unlike in the past when people acquired wealth through inheritance, today an individual can acquire wealth through hard work. This trend is changing in the society today. People belonging to the low social class can be able to move up the social ladder through hard work (Rotberg, 2000). Indeed, people from humble backgrounds have used their talents and education to acquire wealth, political power, and money hence moving up the social class.
Because of negative impacts of social mobility, the following strategies can enhance social mobility and create a balance in the society. First, the government should create more opportunities for higher education to all people especially those who cannot afford education.
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The cost of higher education in university and colleges should be subsidized so that students who come from poor families can access higher education (Rotberg, 2000). Notably, women must be offered opportunities to access higher education and employment. In fact, the government should set aside jobs and education facilities for women in the society.
Secondly, the government should create avenues to enable people from the lower class to have better jobs and acquire economical stability. With economical stability, poor people will be able to give their children better education leading to upward mobility in the future (Rotberg, 2000). This should be done by providing training opportunities and capital to start business to the unemployed people.
In summary, women, illiterate people, poor individuals, minority groups, and young people are the most affected by the issue of social mobility. However, due to extensive campaign for equality and the changing cultural trends, the issue of social mobility has changed over time. Because of new laws that have been developed, individuals now have equal opportunities and different people can move up the social ladder.
The opinion is that, the government should take deliberate measures to empower individuals from the lower class to enable them have upward mobility (Sorokin, 1998). As such, mentorship and empowerment programs should be encouraged to motivate young and poor people in the society. To promote positive social change, people should embrace new cultural values in order to overcome the issue of social mobility.
Callahan, B. (2010). Power and society: an introduction to the social sciences. Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Rotberg, R. (2000). Social mobility and modernization: a Journal of interdisciplinary history reader. Massachusetts: MIT press.
Sorokin, P. (1998). Social mobility. London: Routledge.