Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Social Mobility Related Abstracts

3 Challenges to Reaching Higher Education in Developing Countries

Authors: Suhail Shersad


Introduction In developing countries, the access to higher education for the lower socioeconomic strata is very poor at less than 0.05%. The challenges faced by prospective students in these circumstances to pursue higher education have been explored through direct interaction with them and their families in urban slums of New Delhi. This study included evaluation of the demographics, social indices, expectations and perceptions of selected communities. Results The results show that the poor life expectancy, low exposure to technology, lack of social infrastructure and poor sanitary conditions have reduced their drive for academic achievements. This is despite a good level of intelligence and critical thinking skills among these students. The perception of the community including parents shows that despite their desire to excel, there are too may roadblocks to achieving a fruitful professional life for the next generation. Discussion The prerequisites of higher education may have to be revisited to be more inclusive of socially handicapped students. The knowledge, skills and attributes required for higher education system should form the baseline for creating a roadmap for higher secondary education suited for local needs. Conventional parameters like marks and grading have to be re-looked so that life skills and vocational training form part of the core curriculum. Essential skills should be incorporated at an earlier age, providing an alternative pathway for such students to join higher education. Conclusion: There is a need to bridge the disconnect that exists between higher education planning, the needs of the concerned cohorts and the existing higher secondary education. The variables that contribute to making such a decision have to be examined further. Keywords: prerequisites of higher education, social mobility, society expectations, access to higher education

Keywords: Social Mobility, access to higher education, prerequisites of higher education, society expectations

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2 Effects of Intergenerational Social Mobility on General Health, Oral Health and Physical Function among Older Adults in England

Authors: Alejandra Letelier, Anja Heilmann, Richard G. Watt, Stephen Jivraj, Georgios Tsakos


Background: Socioeconomic position (SEP) influences adult health. People who experienced material disadvantages in childhood or adulthood tend to have higher adult disease levels than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds. Even so, life is a dynamic process and contains a series of transitions that could lead people through different socioeconomic paths. Research on social mobility takes this into account by adopting a trajectory approach, thereby providing a long-term view of the effect of SEP on health. Aim: The aim of this research examines the effects of intergenerational social mobility on adult general health, oral health and functioning in a population aged 50 and over in England. Methods: This study is based on the secondary analysis of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Using cross-sectional data, nine social trajectories were created based on parental and adult occupational socio-economic position. Regression models were used to estimate the associations between social trajectories and the following outcomes: adult self-rated health, self-rated oral health, oral health related quality of life, total tooth loss and grip strength; while controlling for socio-economic background and health related behaviours. Results: Associations with adult SEP were generally stronger than with childhood SEP, suggesting a stronger influence of proximal rather than distal SEP on health and oral health. Compared to the stable high group, being in the low SEP groups in childhood and adulthood was associated with poorer health and oral health for all examined outcome measures. For adult self-rated health and edentulousness, graded associations with social mobility trajectories were observed. Conclusion: Intergenerational social mobility was associated with self-rated health and total tooth loss. Compared to only those who remained in a low SEP group over time reported worse self-rated oral health and oral health related quality of life, and had lower grip strength measurements. Potential limitations in relation to data quality will be discussed.

Keywords: Social Mobility, social determinants of oral health, socioeconomic position and oral health, older adults oral health

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1 Social Mobility and Urbanization: Case Study of Well-Educated Urban Migrant's Life Experience in the Era of China's New Urbanization Project

Authors: Xu Heng


Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting Great Recession, the number of China’s unemployed college graduate reached over 500 thousand in 2011. Following the severe situation of college graduate employment, there has been growing public concern about college graduates, especially those with the less-privileged background, and their working and living condition in metropolises. Previous studies indicate that well-educated urban migrants with less-privileged background tend to obtain temporary occupation with less financial income and lower social status. Those vulnerable young migrants are described as ‘Ant Tribe’ by some scholars. However, since the implementation of a new urbanization project, together with the relaxed Hukou system and the acceleration of socio-economic development in middle/small cities, some researchers described well-educated urban migrant’s situation and the prospect of upward social mobility in urban areas in an overly optimistic light. In order to shed more lights on the underlying tensions encountered by China’s well-educated urban migrants in their upward social mobility pursuit, this research mainly focuses on 10 well-educated urban migrants’ life trajectories between their university-to-work transition and their current situation. All selected well-educated urban migrants are young adults with rural background who have already received higher education qualification from first-tier universities of Wuhan City (capital of Hubei Province). Drawing on the in-depth interviews with 10 participants and Inspired by Lahire’s Theory of Plural Actor, this study yields the following preliminary findings; 1) For those migrants who move to super-mega cities (i.e., Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou) or stay in Wuhan after college graduation, their inadequacies of economic and social capital are the structural factors which negatively influence their living condition and further shape their plan for career development. The incompatibility between the sub-fields of urban life and the disposition, which generated from their early socialization, is the main cause for marginalized position in the metropolises. 2) For those migrants who move back to middle/small cities located in their hometown regions, the inconsistency between the disposition, which generated from college life, and the organizational habitus of the workplace is the main cause for their sense of ‘fish out of water’, even though they have obtained the stable occupation of local government or state-owned enterprise. On the whole, this research illuminates how the underlying the structural forces shape well-educated urban migrants’ life trajectories and hinder their upward social mobility under the context of new urbanization project.

Keywords: Urbanization, Social Mobility, life trajectory, well-educated urban migrant

Procedia PDF Downloads 105