class mobility

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The movement, between generations, of people across social classes, in either an upward or downward direction. Success in sport can be the basis of dramatic forms of mobility, so that English footballer David Beckham, who was born into the working class of east London, can achieve, through his sporting success and accompanying commercial profile, a status within a different social class, or a social stratum almost outside of the social stratification system, as do movie stars, rock stars, and supermodels. More modestly, sport has provided a form of professional work that has been a means of escape from situations of limited opportunity: examples include black boxers escaping the ghetto; working-class footballers playing in early English and Scottish professional leagues; and footballers from underdeveloped countries prospering in the highly commercialized and rich leagues of Western Europe.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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