Differences Between Social Mobility and Population Mobility

Do you understand the distinction between population and social mobility? The terms "social mobility" and "population mobility" are not interchangeable. Both, nevertheless, can be used to mean a modification, shift, or movement.

Humans always try to meet their needs. Humans strive to enhance their quality of life and elevate their social position to meet necessities. Social mobility is one of the things people do to improve their social quality. However, the capacity of the area where they dwell is only sometimes able to meet the necessities of human life. Humans move their populations for this reason.

Etymologically, mobility is a translation of mobility with the basic word mobile (English). The word mobile means active, enterprising, and agile, so it can be concluded that mobility is movement. Human movement can be seen from various points of view, namely the social and spatial attributes of view.

Human movement is defined as individuals' standing, status, or function within a society. This social movement among humans can be divided into vertical and horizontal. From a geographical standpoint, human mobility can only be distinguished into two (2) categories: permanent and non-permanent. The elements that influence human mobility vary between the two.

The following is an explanation for more details regarding the differences in population and social mobility.

A. Social Mobility

Social mobility is a change, shift, increase or decrease in the status and role of its members (Rohmah, 2017). So, mobility means locking/moving the position of a person or group of people from one layer to another. According to Kimball Young and Raymond W. Mack, social mobility is a movement in social structures, namely specific patterns that govern the organization of a social group.

If an accountant moves or shifts the owner's job to become a bookstore, he is carrying out social mobility. Another example is if someone initially received a low monthly salary and changed jobs with a higher salary offer.

Social mobility is influenced by several driving factors, such as demography, social status, political situation, desire to see other areas, and economic conditions.

Two forms of social mobility are seen from the direction of movement: vertical and horizontal.

1. Vertical Social Mobility

Vertical mobility is the deposition of social status experienced by a person or group in a different social layer. Vertical mobility is divided into two primary forms: upward vertical mobility (social climbing) and downward vertical mobility (social sinking). The forms of social mobility in society are dynamic. They follow the trends and culture that are prevailing in society. The following is an example of upward vertical mobility (social climbing) and downward vertical mobility (social sinking) in the current era.

  1. Vertical upward mobility (social climbing) occurs due to an increase in one's status or position. The reason is that a person or group increases work performance, marriage, or a relationship with someone with a higher social status.

    Examples of upward vertical mobility (social climbing) are:

    • The state staff appointed a vegetable seller's son because of his achievements at the university level.
    • A village head participates in the election and wins it.
    • An artist who is married to a royal family.
    • An employee who is given a prize in the form of a position because of carrying out job feats.
    • An employee appointed as an adviser to the director because of a close relationship, and others.

    Differences between Social Mobility and Population Mobility

  2. Vertical downward mobility (social sinking) is a process of decreasing one's status or position. A decrease in downward vertical mobility is interpreted as a person's position dropping to a lower place or not respecting a position as a social layer. Someone who experiences social sinking has experienced psychological turmoil. This is due to changes in their rights and obligations. The causes are: 

    • Permanent or temporary bans.
    • Entering retirement.
    • Fatal mistakes that lead to being demoted or canceled from office.

    Examples of downward vertical mobility (social sinking) are a politician who was exposed to corruption so that he had to be jailed, an artist who experienced a scandal that lowered his prestige, an employee who was absent from duty until he was fired, and others..

2. Horizontal Mobility

Horizontal mobility is locking a person's or group's social status in the same social layer (equivalent chat). The main feature of horizontal mobility is that there is no change in social status or the degree of one's position when carrying out social mobility. Horizontal social mobility is divided into two forms: social mobility between geographic regions and between generations.

  1. Social mobility between geographic areas is the movement of individuals or groups from one place to another. An example of horizontal social mobility between geographic regions is a teacher transferred to another local school because his working period had ended. Even though he was transferred to another local school, his position remained as a teacher. Another example of horizontal social mobility between geographic regions is a junior high school student who moved to a school on the city's outskirts because his family was reassigned.

  2. Intergenerational mobility means the movement/change of two or more generations, for example, the generation of fathers, children, grandchildren, and so on. Mobility is characterized by developments in living standards, either up or down in age. The emphasis is on the transfer of social status from generation to generation.

    An example of horizontal mobility between generations is that a family consisting of a father, mother, and child will marry off their first child. After marriage, they had their first child. Then the social status in the family changes, the father and mother become grandparents, and the children become father/mother. 

B. Population Mobility

Population mobility is the movement of people from one area to another, either temporarily or for an extended period, or for settling, commuting, and migration. Population mobility differs from social mobility; the difference lies in the object of movement. Population mobility emphasizes the movement of people from one space to another, while social mobility emphasizes the transfer of social status.

Population mobility also has factors that cause residents to move. Population mobility factors are divided into two (2): push factors and pull factors.

Factors from the region of origin are called factors driving population mobility. Factors driving population mobility include natural disasters, crop failure, limited job opportunities, disrupted security, and lack of education, health, and entertainment facilities.

The factor of the destination area is called the pull factor of population mobility. Factors attracting population mobility such as:

  1.  The availability of jobs
  2. High wages
  3. Achieving a decent life
  4. The availability of educational, health
  5. Entertainment facilities

Population mobility is divided into two (2), namely, the mobility of permanent residents (permanent) and the mobility of non-permanent residents (not permanent).

1. Mobility of Permanent Residents or Migration

The mobility of permanent residents can also be referred to as migration. Migration is the movement of population from one region to another within the country or from one country to another to settle down. Migration is carried out either individually, in families, or groups. The definition of paying in migration varies in each country. In Indonesia, a stay is defined as a person who lives in Indonesia for six months or more.

Types of Migration Mobility or Permanent Residents

There are 2 types of migration (mobility of permanent residents), namely migration between countries (mobility of international permanent residents) and migration within countries (mobility of permanent national residents).

a) Migration between countries (mobility of international permanent residents),

Migration between countries (international permanent population mobility) is the movement/movement of residents from one country to another. Migration between countries can be divided into three (3), namely immigration, emigration, and remigration.
  1. Immigration is the entry of residents/people from other countries into a country. For example, Australians come and settle in Indonesia. The Australians are called immigrants, while the movement is called immigration. Immigration can be temporary, meaning staying temporarily, such as Foreign Workers (TKA) who work in Indonesia based on a two-year contract.
  2. Emigration is the departure of residents/people from one country to another. For example, Indonesians who moved to Germany or Malaysia. People who move out of one country to another are called emigrants, while those who move are called emigration.
  3. Remigration, namely the return of residents/emigrant people to their country of origin. For example, the Ambonese who previously moved and lived in the Netherlands as emigrants then returned to live in Indonesia.

b) Domestic migration (mobility of permanent national residents),

Domestic migration (national permanent population mobility), namely the movement of people from one region to another within the same country. For example, population movements between provinces or between islands.

Domestic migration can be divided into two (2) transmigration and urbanization.

  1. Transmigration (internal migration) is a movement/movement of population from an island or province with high density to another island or region with low density in the same country. An example of transmigration, namely during the New Order government, was the government implemented a policy of equal population distribution. Residents from Java were transmigrated to other islands, such as Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. The goal is for the area to develop and its density to increase.
  2. Urbanization is the movement of the population from villages to cities. Urbanization can occur due to villages' and cities' push factors. An example of urbanization is that residents in Tegal and Brebes Regencies moved to the capital city of Jakarta to open food stalls. They push for a higher income.

2. Non-permanent (non-permanent) population mobility

Non-permanent (non-permanent) population mobility, is temporary population mobility, does not settle down. An example of non-permanent population mobility is farmers after the rice harvest, who choose to make a living in the city (seasonal migration). When the planting season arrives, they return to their area to cultivate crops. Another example of non-permanent population mobility is workers in suburban areas. They go to a city for work in the morning, and in afternoon, they return to their residence on the outskirts of town (commuters).

That was an explanation of social mobility and population mobility. After understanding the description of each form of mobility, you must have found the difference between social mobility and population mobility. The difference between social and population mobility lies in the object of a movement carried out by the community. The social mobility of the moving object, namely its social status. Meanwhile, the mobility of the population is the object that moves, namely the community itself. The factors that influence each form of mobility are also different. Although one of the factors that encourage people to carry/move is the economic factor.