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Intra- and Inter-Generational Social Mobility and Related Barriers

Modern society is characterized by a crisis of family identity and relationships between generations. Today’s society is losing its main social dimension, which refers to the ability to create sustainable communities based on solidarity and the common good (Edwards, 2019). Intra-generational social mobility considers the social movements of a person in terms of a class that impact him or her in the given time (Collignon, 2018). However, the concept of inter-generational social mobility is concerned with the impacts on two or more generations. Depending on a particular situation, social mobility is associated with such barriers as education, income, class, geography, and family background.

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In “Two Concepts of Liberty” by Isaiah Berlin, negative freedom is identified as an area within which the subject is allowed to do what he or she is able to do, without being interfered with by others. The supporters of a positive concept of understanding freedom are concerned about the source of control or intervention that makes a person act this way and not otherwise (Collignon, 2018). These approaches are not equivalent; for example, freedom may exist in a positive sense and not exist in a negative one. It should be noted that negativists are concerned about the barriers separating the sphere of private life, within which an individual is free from public life and within which his or her actions are limited by law. Unlike the negativists, the supporters of the positive concept of liberty do not pay much attention to the barriers that restrict it (Collignon, 2018). Instead, they are concerned about who is setting up these barriers, placing particular emphasis on the desire of a person to be the master of his or her life.

The “Gladiator” movie provides a vivid demonstration of the difference between positive and negative concepts of freedom. A gladiator slave is not free in a negative sense since personal rights among slaves who were owned by their masters did not exist. In turn, the emperor is the most powerful man in the Roman Empire. However, he cannot order the killing of the great gladiator as the people will not forgive him for this. This means that the decision of the emperor does not depend on himself, yet on the will of the people. In this case, the emperor is an instrument of the expression of the will of the crowd, meaning that he is not free in a positive sense. Despite coercion from the outside, the gladiator can be considered free since he, in contrast to the emperor, obeys the authority recognized by personal consciousness.

The concepts of positive and negative freedoms are closely linked to social capital as an integral feature of civil society. Both intra- and inter-generational social movements reflect the attitudes of individuals and the public as a whole to shared values and trust. The study by Makridis and Wu (2021) found a positive correlation between social capital and response to COVID-19. The authors discovered that trust in the government and compliance with the restrictive measures were the key reactions of people, allowing them to overcome social mobility barriers. A higher degree of engagement in social affairs was found in people following social distancing recommendations (Makridis and Wu, 2021). Accordingly, the achievement of a common goal through generating social capital can be regarded as a viable strategy for mitigating the tensions between individual freedom and social mobility barriers.

References

Collignon, S. (2018) ‘Negative and positive liberty and the freedom to choose in Isaiah Berlin and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’, Journal of Philosophical Economics, 12(1), pp. 36-64.

Edwards, M. (2019) Civil society. 4th edn. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Makridis, C. A. and Wu, C. (2021) ‘How social capital helps communities weather the COVID-19 pandemic’, PloS One, 16(1), pp. 1-18.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 23). Intra- and Inter-Generational Social Mobility and Related Barriers. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/intra-and-inter-generational-social-mobility-and-related-barriers/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Intra- and Inter-Generational Social Mobility and Related Barriers." October 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/intra-and-inter-generational-social-mobility-and-related-barriers/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Intra- and Inter-Generational Social Mobility and Related Barriers'. 23 October.

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