Intragenerational mobility refers to the changes in a person’s social or economic status throughout their lifetime. It focuses on individual trajectories rather than comparing differences between generations. This form of mobility can be observed when individuals move up or down the socioeconomic ladder during their working lives.
Intragenerational mobility is often used to gauge the flexibility and openness of a society’s economic and social system. High intragenerational mobility suggests that there are ample opportunities for individuals to change their social or economic circumstances over time, indicating a more dynamic and less rigid society. Conversely, low intragenerational mobility may suggest that structural barriers, such as discrimination or lack of access to quality education, impede individuals from changing their socioeconomic status.
This is different from intergenerational mobility, which refers to the changes in social or economic status from one generation to the next – that is, the degree to which children achieve a different socioeconomic status compared to their parents.