Social Class Of Social Mobility

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Social Class Myths in America Social mobility in the United States is commonly seen as an opportunity available to every individual to assume a higher economic status through conscientious willpower. However, recent studies have brought to question the extent to which social mobility can be achieved. The extent to which social mobility can be attained is directly tied to various factors such as the intersectionality of people’s identity and government aid stigmatization. In the few exceptions, where individuals achieved social mobility— rising from lower class to middle class, it was through the safety-net that government programs provided. The myth of feasible social mobility through talent and a moral high ground has transcended generations and cemented itself in American culture. One of the stories that deeply perpetuates this idea of social mobility is Horatio Alger’s “Ragged Dick.”Alger tells a the story of a man who unknowingly seizes an opportunity and achieves social mobility: Dick completely disregards his own safety and saves the drowning son of a business tycoon without hearing the business man’s initial monetary offer— acting simply on his moral high-ground. Alger illustrates an idea of social mobility being attainable for anyone with high moral standards through Dick’s bravery in quickly rising to action to save the boy without ulterior motives as he had not heard the father’s monetary offer. Furthermore, Alger suggests talent as vital in social mobility,
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