Moving from one social class to another is called as social mobility. Many countries are trying to increase the levels of social mobility in the modern world. Social mobility is very much beneficial for the development of society. A closed class society is one in which the social mobility is less than that of an opened class society. In an opened class society, a man has the opportunity to move from one organization to another one for the purpose of developing status.


Definition of social mobility


Social mobility is the process of movement in which an individual or a group moves from one place to another. People use to leave one job for the sack of other one. Mobility allows a person to develop his/her economic, political and social status in the society. There may be several types of social mobility but we are going to discuss three important types. Vertical, horizontal and territorial mobility are the significant forms or types of social mobility.


Vertical Mobility


Vertical mobility is one in which a person moves from downward to upward or upward to the downward. It is a ladder like mobility where people change their socio-economic status. For example, if a man leaves the job of clerk and gets the job of a professor in the university, it is the vertical mobility. In this form of mobility a person leaved a community of clerks and got the status of a professor. The status of a professor is higher than the status of clerk. That’s why this form of mobility is called as the vertical mobility. A person may also loose the higher status and gets the lower status in vertical mobility. For example, if a police officer looses his/her job and becomes the servant in a house. Hence, it can be said that in the vertical mobility a person moves in both upward as well as in the downward direction because it is ladder like mobility.


Horizontal mobility


Horizontal mobility is the type of social mobility in which a person moves from one group to another but the status and prestige remains in the same position. For example, if a college professor becomes the federal civil servant. The socio-economic status of the federal civil servant remains same as that of the college professor but, only the pattern of work and style of the job changes.


Territorial Mobility


Territorial mobility is also an important type of mobility in which people geographically move from one place to another. If a family moves from rural area towards the urban areas for the availability of facilities then such type of mobility is called as the territorial mobility. As far as the causes of territorial mobility are concerned, there are several causes like social situations, economic conditions and geographical characteristics.




Social mobility is the process of moving of an individual or a group from one social class or status to another. This process is beneficial for the society as it plays a vital role in the development of the country. There are three important types of social mobility i.e. vertical mobility, horizontal and territorial mobility. Social, economic and geographical conditions are the main causes of social mobility.

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