The Role of Reference Groups and Social Capital in Social Mobility Motivation in Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Department, of Demographics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran



The concept of social mobility is an important topic in the social sciences which affects people’s lives at both the micro and the macro level. The existence of greater opportunities for social mobility in a society implies that society can progress further. In this research, the role of two influencing variables on the Motivation of Social Mobility, including Reference Groups and Cultural Capital, has been investigated. A survey research technique was used and 381 students of Islamic Azad University of Science and Research Unit were selected using Cochran's formula. Because a valid measurement instrument did not exist, a researcher-made questionnaire was made to measure the research variables. The validity and reliability of the designed questionnaires were examined and confirmed. The results of the hypotheses test showed that the variable of Reference Groups including Insiders and Outsiders could predict 21% and the variable of Cultural Capital including Embodied, Objectified and Institutionalized Capital could predict 30% of the variance of Social Mobility Motivation. It can be said that being a member of a group can lead to new behaviors and direct a person to social mobility. When a person has a higher cultural capital, he can convert it into other types of capital. Therefore, cultural capital can be an influential factor affecting social mobility.


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