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downward mobility (downward social mobility)

Definition of Downward Mobility

(noun) An individual’s or group’s (e.g., family) fall within the hierarchy that decreases their level of class, power, or status.

Downward Mobility Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: down·ward mo·bil·i·ty

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /dOUn-wuhrd moh-bIl-uh-tee/
  • British English – /dOUn-wuhd moh-bIl-i-tee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈdaʊnwərd moʊˈbɪləti/
  • British English – /ˈdaʊnwəd məʊˈbɪlɪti/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: downward mobilities
  • The terms “downward mobility” and “downward social mobility” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.

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Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Downward Mobility

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “downward mobility.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/downward-mobility/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

downward mobility. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/downward-mobility/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “downward mobility.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/downward-mobility/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“downward mobility.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/downward-mobility/>.