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Understanding the psychological processes associated with unequal collective power and status is critical to understanding intergroup relations. Social mobility is a central construct in the context of group inequality. Defined as the extent to which an individual can, and does, move from one group to another, social mobility focuses attention on members of low-status groups and their potential to move to a group of higher status. For example, within nations, individual members of a low-status group might engage in upward social mobility by directing their efforts toward joining the middle class. Similarly, individuals from a poor or troubled nation might emigrate to a country that promises economic advancement. This entry summarizes research on how social mobility works, examines what happens when social mobility is perceived ...

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