Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Social Mobility, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, eBook, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards

Explain social mobility


OER Text material

Social Stratification

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World Chapter 8 Sections 1 and 3. Section 8.1 discusses different systems of stratification and the difference between closed and open systems. Section 8.3 discusses vertical mobility and inter/intra generational mobility, but not horizontal mobility. Instructors might consider supplementing this chapter with material from Open Stax and several of the supplemental material listed for this objective.

Social Stratification and Mobility in the United States

Open Stax section 9.2- provides a fine summary social mobility and defines key terms.

Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

Is American Dreaming? Understanding Social Mobility (Video)

Great  ~ 4 minute video by the Brookings Institution on social mobility that includes a discussion of mobility and other demographics such as race and whether or you are raised by married parents.

“Striking new research on inequality: ‘Whatever you thought, it’s worse’”

This is a short article in the Washington Post on social mobility published in 2016. Research on social mobility in the U.S. over time is discussed.

Cultural Capital

This is a 5:30 minute video in which cultural capital is defined and examples are provided. Could be used in a face to face class or copied into an online course.