Sociology Index


Contest mobility is a term referring to what North Americans and British would refer to as social mobility through equality of opportunity. In contest mobility, equal footing among individuals is assumed as a given. Contest mobility is also referred to as tournament mobility. Recruitment for positions in society is seen as a contest in which the contestants are competing freely. Contest mobility refers to system of social mobility in which all individuals are seen as participants in a race and the contest is an open one.

Sponsored Mobility is a British term, contrasted with contest mobility, to refer to a method of identifying people at an early age for social advancement and sponsoring them as they prepare for their rise to the top and then guaranteeing them a comfortable position. Due to globalization in modern economies there is a great amount of Demand Mobility among occupations. Vertical Social Mobility is the transition of an individual from one position to another, situated at a different level. Horizontal Social Mobility is the transition of an individual from one position to another situated on the same level.

Sponsored and Contest Mobility Revisited: An Examination of Britain and the USA Today, Harriet P. Morgan.

Abstract: The conceptual framework of sponsored and contest mobility which Ralph H. Turner applied to British and American school systems in 1960 is still valuable as a supplement to the more frequently used model of mass and elite systems for examining the differences between British and American higher education today.

The British system of officially determined qualifications for entry into higher education and officially provided support for those who enter, approximates to the sponsored mobility norm of an elite selecting their successors and providing for their training. A comparison of regression equations predicting the entry into higher education of students completing secondary education by academic achievement, type of secondary school attended, parents' level of education and socio-economic status shows the greater selectivity and rigidity characteristic of sponsorship in the British model.

Sponsored and Contest Mobility Among College Graduates: Measurement of the Relative Openness of a Social Structure - Kinloch, Graham C. Study is concerned with determining the significance of achievement and ascriptive factors in the career mobility of graduate engineers. Difficulties regarding the measurement of relative openness of a social structure are pointed out.

Sponsored and Contest Mobility and the School System
With Ralph H. Turner in Inequality Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender, By David Grusky.

The most obvious application of the distinction between sponsored and contest mobility norms afford a partial explanation for the different policies of student selection in the English and American secondary schools. Brief note may be made of the importance of the distinction between sponsored and contest mobility with relation to the supposed effects of upward mobility on personality development.

Turner identifies the American system as one in which contest mobility is the norm. In a system of contest mobility, equal footing among individuals is assumed as a given.

Sponsored and Contest Mobility in America and England: A Rejoinder to Ralph H. Turner
Edward Warren Noël.
The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine and evaluate Ralph H. Turner's differentiation of the accepted modes of social mobility in America and England; second, to suggest the kind of behavior which is associated with upward social mobility.

"Sponsored mobility and Contest Mobility and the School System." American Sociological Review 25 (6 December): 855-867. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1999. Those who don't enjoy contest mobility are destined for positions at the bottom of the class structure. Sponsored Mobility is different from mobility allowance a social-security benefit payable to a disabled person to assist with the cost of travel.