Sociology Final Paper: Intergenerational Immobility, Intergenerational Upward Mobility

A. Intergenerational immobility supposes that the SES of parents is similar to the SES of children. In fact, it is the social, cultural and economic contexts that determine the way a child percepts him/herself. Whitney was born in the rich suburb of New York in the white family, which gives a possibility to assume that his family is of upper-middle lass or or upper class. It means that his parents have a high yearly income, are business owners, professionals or executives, that have higher education in the majority of cases.

It is possible to assume that the values of the family, that include power and prestige, will influence the formation of the child greatly. To start with, Whitney is likely to get excellent education, because the life chances and financial abilities of his family allow it. It will certainly influence his choice of future occupation in the adulthood. The chances that Whitney will not follow the steps of his parents and will not choose a prestigious profession are very low. As the result, the possible income of Whitney will be equal or higher that the one of his parents. In fact, SES is the framework that determines the way people construct the appropriate behavior and set of characteristic for their group (Messner, 2000, p. 780).

B. Brenda might succeed in the intergenerational upward mobility if she manages to receive a good education. The increase of the social level might give her a possibility to disregard the concepts that determine the life of her parents and create a new personality that she will present to the world (Karp et al., 1998, p. 107). The first obstacle Brenda might surmount on her way to become a part of the middle class is the social difference from the others. If she enters a college, she will certainly children from meet middle class and upper class families, and as the result she will confront the world that is unknown for her (Karp et al., 1998, p. 108). The second possible difficulty is determining of the true identity. Brenda might be frustrated by her difference from the rest of students and might decide that it is better to like them instead of insisting on her true personality. The third obstacle is the financial one. Her family will not help her with money, and so the well-being and possibilities for leisure and education of Brenda are lower that the ones of her peers.

C. It is possible to assume that the family life of Brenda and Whitney will depend upon their desire and ability to hear each other. Both of them are affected by the stereotypical understanding of the ideal family, ideal mother and father that were formed in their childhood. Whitney is likely to claim that his wife should quit work at least for several years and spend the time with their small children, because he considers this role model to be ideal for the family with children (Gilman, 1998, p. 104). The chances that Brenda’s mother had an opportunity to spend all her time with children are low, because the family was poor and the woman had to work. Brenda might want to continue working and climbing the career ladder, because she does not see the real need in spending all her time with children. Whitney might insist on the idea that he is the family provider, and will spend less time at home with family and more time at work. As the result, Brenda will have no other choice than to sacrifice her career to cope with home responsibilities.

Works Cited

Gilman, Susan J. Klaus Barbie, and Other Dolls I’d Like to See, pp. 100-114. From Edut, Ophira. Adiós, Barbie: Young Women Write about Body Image and Identity. Seal Press, 1998. Print.

Messner, Michael A. “Barbie Girls Versus Sea Monsters: Children Constructing Gender.” Gender and Society 14.6 (2000): 765-784. Print.

Karp, David, Holstrom, Lynda L., and Gray Paul S. “Leaving Home for College: Expectations for Selective Reconstructions of Self.” Symbolic Interaction 21.3 (1998): 107-117. Print.

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