Social Mobility: Race Prejudice and Absence Education Like Obstacles to a Better Life

According to N. Mustapha, ”Social mobility is that the movement, usually of people or groups, from one social position to another within the social stratification system in a very society.” While persons who were born in families with low income there’s little chance for them to move up while those that were born well off are more likely to stay that way the social elevator is broken. Social mobility is vital so on recuperate education and jobs. “Persons who gain in socio-economic status compared to their parents tend to fare better along with a good range of social and well-being dimensions.” In this society today we are able to become whatever occupation you chose, regardless of what position you were born in you’ve got an option to change your status. Education is that key to alter but does it have its ups and down’s in our social mobility?

Now lets us now have a look at what is social stratification. In keeping with Browne, “Social stratification refers to the division of society into a pattern of layers or strata made of a hierarchy of unequal social groups.” Browne further stated that “These stand in relations of advantage and disadvantage to one another in terms of features like income, wealth, occupational status, race, or sex, counting on the stratification system.” Browne stated that “Those at the highest of the stratification hierarchy will generally have more in society than those at the underside.”


Stratification is split into two main systems the open and closed systems. In a closed stratification system, there’s little or no chance to maneuver to a different level in society. Social positions are ascribed at birth and there’s little you’ll be able to do to alter your social status and there’s no level of accomplishment. Examples of closed stratification are persons that are already born in wealth or gain business based on family there’s no great achievement as this was already ascribed from birth. With open stratification, you’ll be able to achieve change in society by getting an education and work effortlessly to realize your goals so as to induce a top position in employment to induce better income.

There is an opportunity for social mobility has people can move up or down the class scale so their status can either improve or decline. People in open stratification encompass an option to become whatever they need to for instance, lawyers, doctors, teachers, mechanics, and engineers then forth. You’re able to find a very different class than the one you were born in. The class system of stratification is, therefore, based on merit or achievement. According to N. Mustapha, “In a class system of stratification, there is greater social mobility than in slavery, the caste system and estates.” He further stated that “Social mobility results from the acquisition of education and experience and skill, which allows for the achievement of upper levels and better-paying jobs.”


Education plays a component in social mobility because persons that attend universities have a greater chance of recovering paid jobs than persons who didn’t go to school. University students become, teachers, lawyers, doctors, bankers, etc. this can be where vertical mobility comes in. “Many folks that toiled within the sugar cane fields within the Caribbean experienced this sort of vertical mobility, as their sons, daughters, and grandchildren became teachers, doctors, lawyers, and engineers.” The persons who didn’t attend school become taxi drivers, domestic helpers, etc. Although education could be a major drive in social mobility companies are training staff to be more flexible in their positions, and employees must possess the knowledge and technical skills to function effectively and be competitive within the workplace. Employees should be willing to learn and continue to increase their knowledge and skill for the upward mobility of the company. What one becomes today is understood as ascribed status, whatever sex and race we are we all grow and may achieve things in our lives and what we become is our status.

Although education plays a component in social mobility most persons who obtain a university degree are home unemployed because they can not find employment or may well be too overqualified that companies aren’t able to pay them based on their educational background or they’re working in the lower-wage position. According to Jaison R. Abel, “There are widespread reports of newly minted college graduates who are unsuccessful at finding jobs suited to their level of education.” He further stated, “Recent graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to secure employment, and people who do find work are often confined to low-wage positions.” One more reason why persons that have a degree maybe be unemployed might be because some companies aren’t hiring if you don’t have the mandatory skills to perform the function, but if they continue to do that how will persons get the right skills and training to perform the functions so with that being said having an education has its ups and do in society.

Functionalist Perspective

Functionalist Perspective which is argued by Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore. They both argue that some social positions or jobs are functionally more important than others and that persons who have an education and training and skills would be better rewarded and well paid than persons who did not attend universities and undergo long training. In society, today persons who are doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. are very well paid thanks to educational background and training while persons who are housekeepers, cooks, etc. are less paid because they failed to undergo educational studies or training to hold out their functions. Davis and More argued that a position of a garbage collector doesn’t necessitate high rewards in the form of prestige and income as stated in Mustapha, 2013, p.227. I’m not saying that their functions aren’t important because Davis and Moore's argument states inequality but in society today both functions are equal or simply as important whether you have got years of studies, long and stressful hours at work or years of coaching that of an individual during a top position.


The role of both men and women has now changed, women aren’t just housewives and mothers anymore but they have an option to possess a career or to be a housewife. Men are now required to assist in home duties. Women are getting more and more educated and are now in jobs that only men were required to be in. For example, soldiers, mechanics, truck drivers, etc. In step with Marxist theorists, “They accept lower wages and if men refuse to work, they’re ‘the reserve army of labor’ ready.” Women now conjure almost half the workforce and are now receiving university degrees. Most persons are do way better than their parents did especially the men as studies show that while economic growth means the majority do better than their parents (or at least have been in recent decades), men are still traveling a greater distance. In most quintiles, women have a higher risk of being downwardly mobile than men. Most striking of all, women find it much harder to escape from the bottom income quintile than men.

Race and Ethnic Prejudices

“Race is common to define as a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits. The term ethnicities is defined as an outsized group of individuals classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background.”

Racial and ethnic prejudices affect the distribution of wealth, power, and opportunity, and make enduring social stratifications. Whites were separated from blacks they attend different schools, buses they traveled on and jobs been held. White was paid better income than black hence we’ve racial prejudice. Today social prejudice within the Caribbean has been lessening as within the Caribbean we are all seen as equal. However there are some jobs in Jamaica that have whites being more dominant as they hold higher positions and better income most of this can be seen in the hotel industries, most top managers are hired from overseas and are after all white. This can be inequality because this clearly shows that they don’t think that Jamaicans are educated and intelligent enough to require on these roles. Studies show that “Between 1991 and 2016, black Americans increased their likelihood of obtaining and maintaining a decent job, but their white peers still disproportionately hold better jobs compared to their overall employment.” While blacks have the identical educational background, skills, and degrees studies show that “ In 2016 the median wage of a decent job for workers with a bachelor's degree for whites was $75,000 compared to $65,000 for blacks. White workers are also paid more than black workers in good jobs at every level of education received.” According to, “A 'median wage' is the boundary between what the highest 50% of earners are paid and what the lowest 50% of earners are paid.”


It has been concluded that education plays an excellent part of social mobility but it does, however, has its ups and downs as having an education is good but there are some persons in society today that has an education and still are unemployed or working in a job that’s lower wage than his qualification. Women are now educated and are now working in positions that only men were required to be in but are receiving lower wages than men. Race prejudice also affects us in society as blacks are now attending to universities and having a degree and while there are some companies that hire blacks in high positions majority of companies still prefer whites for a higher positions.


  1. Browne K. 1992. An Introduction to Sociology, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  2. Definition of Median Wage. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
  3. Johnson E. (2019). Racial inequality, at college and in the workplace. Retrieved from:
  4. Jaison R. Abel. (n.d), Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs? Retrieved from:
  5. Mustapha, N. (2013). Sociology for Caribbean Students: Vol. Second edition. Ian Randle Publishers.
  6. OECD (2018), “A broken social elevator? How to promote social mobility”, COPE Policy Brief,
  7. Reeves, R. V., & Venator, J. (2016, July 29). Gender Gaps in Relative Mobility. Retrieved from:
  8. Stanmeyer, J. (2019, February 28). Race and ethnicity: How are they different? Retrieved from:
07 July 2022
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