Introduction to Sociology course

Chapter 9. Stratification and Mobility

What are your chances of getting a good job after finishing your education? Do your parents play a role in your chances of success in education and the labor market? These are questions about inequality and in meeting, we will take a closer look at two subthemes of inequality, namely social stratification and social mobility. This chapter’s objective is to introduce you to some important concepts, empirical patterns and theories.


Ch. 9 OverviewStratification and mobility
Ch. 9.6Ascription and achievement
Ch. 9.7Modernization and mobility theory
Ch. 9.8Cultural reproduction theory

Power Point slides


Test your knowledge

Further reading

Additional chapter resources

  • Inequality in happiness: Check this website for the latest World Happiness Report. The reports present a wealth of data on happiness across the world. Another great source is the website Our World in Data, which has a separate entry on Happiness and Life Satisfaction.
  • Income and wealth: Is inequality increasing? How much income stratification is there within societies? If you’re interested in questions like these, go here to read the latest edition of the World Inequality Report. Check also this useful overview from Our World in Data.
  • Consequences of inequality: Why should we care about inequality? In their book The Spirit Level, Prof. Richard Wilkinson and Prof. Kate Pickett proposed the (controversial) claim that economic inequality harms societies. Watch Wilkinsons lecture about this book here. And also read the scientific critique and discussion that followed (here).
  • Modernization and mobility: in this video, Prof. Richard Breen explains that the spread of education contributed to increasing social mobility (and that this trend may slow down due to increasing income inequalities).
  • The Great Catsby Curve: A nice short video on this intriguing relationship between income inequality and intergenerational mobility.