People do everything within their capabilities to avoid downward movement that is moving from a higher class to a lower class.
Social Mobility & Class Levels
Social mobility refers to the movement of an individual, a family, and or a category of people within the layers of social stratification. Social stratification is the categorization of people, families or groups of people in different social classes depending on their gross incomes.
These social classes are low-level classes, which commonly comprises of impoverished people, middle-level class; containing averagely living people while high-level class comprises of rich people.
Intrageneration mobility refers to the movement of an individual within levels of social classes while intergeneration mobility refers to the action of an individual, together with the family to and from a given specific level of a social class.
Status attainment, therefore, refers to the position that one occupies within the social classes depending on the earned factors like the educational achievements and the income of the family.
In the society, people recognize others with the positions they are holding, achieved status (perhaps through education), and with their income as an individual or as a family.
A person who belongs to the lowest level of the social class receives least recognition from the society and gets less space or opportunity to express him or herself.
To know the concept of social mobility, ‘Robert’, a volunteer has discussed own experience. The intrageneration, intergeneration and the status achievement of the last three generations of his family are discussed below, starting from the first generation.
The First Generation
Regarding this social stratification and the social mobility, I can say that there is an upward movement when considering the last three generations of our family.
Even though my grandfather was born in a middle-class family, he lived in a low-class level. He lived with no assets left, earning no cash and subjected to abject poverty. Both my grandfather and grandmother were similar in situation. None of them had accountable earnings. They gave birth to one son and a daughter who perhaps were to change the status.
The son, Albert who is my father, went to school and immediately after finishing the high school level, secured a job in the city as a clerk in a company. He later became addicted to alcohol, beaten with thugs on a night when he was late while coming home after work.
This caused his job loss. Now he had an old man who could not perform any other task to support the family. However, he had saved enough money for educating his children.
My mother had no job to support the family, after the illness of my father, and she used to help the middle-class families in homemade chores to support own family. However, the status of the family had risen quite a bit as compared to the first generation of the three generations.
The Second Generation
Consequently, as a son of this family, we went to school until our university started. We studied in a small, unequipped public school, which the society regarded as a school for the poor. The students in such institutions cannot be compared with better educational institutes in curriculum and educational facilities.
My mother died in the year I was in my last examinations in high school. The situation was quite a problematic one for my three younger siblings. My father was experiencing permanent body injuries after the fracture of his leg and hand, and internal brain injuries that were attributed to robbers and plunged into cerebral problems.
Since then, I stacked to the last words of my late mother. She died of asthma that was perhaps originated from the laborious duties she was undertaking.
She said to me one evening when she was on her bed in the hospital that, ‘my son, remember you’re the father of your younger siblings, and you are their mother, every day ensure they eat, whatever you eat, and they go without when you go without’. I busted into tears and replied to her `yes mum’ without knowing that was the last conversation with her.
The Third Generation
Despite such a challenging situation, I completed the high school successfully. As a man, I did everything I could to ensure that the three of my siblings got to school and finished their studies successfully.
I joined the university where I did my bachelors in medicine. At the time of my university completion, all of the three younger siblings were also finishing their high school education. Fortunately enough for me, I got a paid internship in one of the hospitals in Washington D.C without knowing that was the beginning my social mobility change.
Just while still undergoing the internship program, their hospital required another staff and beheld, the opportunity befell me. I continued with my mum`s last words till all of the three siblings of mine finished their universities by graduation in-laws, engineering and captain.
One month later, all of them had secured a job and were working. We then removed our ill dad from home and bought him a posh house in the city where we all resided. The determination now focuses on my children whom I must lift to a better class than I am.