The article “Rags to riches? Understanding social mobility in India” by Vegard Iversen, Kunal Sen and Anirudh Krishna explore how positions held by the parents can determine an individual’s status in society. The article reveals how in egalitarian societies the economic and social ladder is not determined by the education level, income, and occupation of the parents. In different ways, the article explores broader issues such as history, politics, society, and economy of the Indians. India as a growing economy in the world undergoes modernization which has helped in opening up the economy as well as contributing to growth over the last few decades. However, intergenerational mobility that characterizes Indian society has contributed to an increase in the level of inequality in India. Based on the article, the concept of inequality can be determined by looking at the occupational mobility which influences the social changes. According to the Human Development Survey, the transfer of skills among different generations in India has played a crucial role in social growth. Notably, the Indian society is based on a hierarchy of labor where the parents pass skills to the children in subsequent generations.
In the context of occupational history, Indian society is categorized by upward mobility prospects. Historically, the Indians are divided into six occupational categories which are arranged from highest to lowest that are professionals, and manual laborers. From the article, the odds ratio of a laborer son becoming a professional is much lower as compared to a son from a professional father in becoming a professional in a specific field. Based on this scenario, the article reveals the history of occupation in the Indian society which is based on the hierarchy system. Also, the article reveals how the history of occupation in India society is based on the categorization of people into codes which shows the odds ratios of the upward mobility of labor.
In the context of the economy, India economy is characterized by social mobility degree between the rural and urban residents who engage in different professions based on economic status. Therefore, the economy of India will tend to experience slow growth in rural areas due to the concentration of high levels of poverty, low social mobility rates among the social groups. On the contrary, urban tend to experience economic growth and expansion due to the concentration of professionals and skilled laborers who inherit big corporations from their parents. According to the article, the barriers to occupational and social mobility which is persistent among the Indians is contributed by the existence of disadvantaged social groups despite affirmative action programmes for the marginalized groups. Therefore, the social mobility between India and other countries shows a wide range of disparities due to variations in economic growth particularly between rural and urban areas.
In regards to politics, the aspect of political mobilization integrated since independence influences the affirmative actions and mobility prospects in India. The politics of India plays a crucial role in the design of occupational mobility in the country. According to the authors, the political influence results in the categorization of occupational mobility into Forward Castle, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes as approaches of distributing labor across the country. Therefore, the political influence on occupational mobility has resulted in changes in social patterns across households. In a nutshell, the India society demonstrates both downward and upward mobility of occupation which influences access to opportunities among the people.