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horizontal mobility (horizontal social mobility)

Definition of Horizontal Mobility

(noun) An individual’s or group’s (e.g., family) change in position within the stratification system that does not change their original level of class, power, or status.

Example of Horizontal Mobility

  • An individual who works at a fast food restaurant leaves that job and gets a similar job at another fast food restaurant.

Horizontal Mobility Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: hor·i·zon·tal mo·bil·i·ty

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /hor-uh-zAHnt-l moh-bIl-uh-tee/
  • British English – /hor-i-zOntl moh-bIl-i-tee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˌhɔrəˈzɑntəl moʊˈbɪləti/
  • British English – /ˌhɒrɪˈzɒntl məʊˈbɪlɪti/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: horizontal mobilities
  • The terms “social mobility” and “horizontal social mobility” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • Horizontal mobility can include slightly better benefits or pay without changing an individual’s overall position in the class structure.

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Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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

Cite the Definition of Horizontal Mobility

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “horizontal mobility.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved April 13, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/horizontal-mobility/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

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

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “horizontal mobility.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed April 13, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/horizontal-mobility/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“horizontal mobility.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/horizontal-mobility/>.