MCAT Psychology Question — Social Mobility | Next Step Test Prep MCAT Psychology Question — Social Mobility | Next Step Test Prep

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The son of a bricklayer goes to college and i) becomes a teacher at a medical school, ii) gets promoted to tenured professor, and iii) moves across the country for a new tenured professor position at a different school. Sequentially, this man has experienced:

a) intergenerational mobility with respect to the father, horizontal mobility, horizontal mobility

b) intragenerational mobility with respect to the son, upward mobility, upward mobility

c) intergenerational mobility with respect to the father, upward mobility, horizontal mobility

d) intragenerational mobility with respect to the son, horizontal mobility, upward mobility

 

Explanation

Watch a video explanation of this problem:

Intragenerational mobility, also called career mobility, describes a change in an individual’s social standing during the course of an individual’s lifetime. Intragenerational mobility most often occurs through promotions and demotions at work. Intergenerational mobility involves a change in social standing across generations, such as when an upper class family loses their fortune and the next generation all become tradesmen. Alternatively, children of a working class family might work very hard to increase their social standing through education and career advancement.

Horizontal mobility refers to a move within the same category of status, e.g. taking a job in a new location with equivalent title to a former job. Vertical mobility, which may be upward or downward, refers to moving from one social level to another.

In the case of the son of the bricklayer, achieving education and status beyond that of his father could be either intergenerational with respect to the father or intragenerational with respect to the son. A promotion is vertical mobility, and a transfer with equal position is horizontal mobility.

a) intergenerational mobility with respect to the father, horizontal mobility, horizontal mobility, incorrect, The promotion is an example of upward rather than horizontal mobility.

b) intragenerational mobility with respect to the son, upward mobility, upward mobility, incorrect, The transfer is an example of horizontal rather than vertical mobility.

c) intergenerational mobility with respect to the father, upward mobility, horizontal mobility, correct.

d) intragenerational mobility with respect to the son, horizontal mobility, upward mobility, incorrect, The promotion is upward mobility and the transfer is horizontal mobility.

 

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