GINO GERMANI, Institute of Sociology, University of Buenos Aires*
ONLY ONE CONCLUSION about the social consequences of mobility is likely to encounter general agreement: an enormous variety of social and individual consequences can be imputed to social mobility. Not only will different kinds of mobility produce different consequences under different circumstances, but the number and variety of processes that can be distinguished under the general concept of mobility (even limiting this to vertical mobility), and above all the complexity and diversity of historical circumstances that may affect mobility and of course its consequences, make it extremely difficult to formulate even a few valid empirical generalizations.
An adequate analysis of the consequences of mobility -- either social or individual -- requires both a theory, that is, a series of clearly specified, logically interrelated hypotheses, and relevant data. Unfortunately neither theory nor empirical evidence is adequate at present. Most of the empirical material consists of impressionistic studies, vague historical generalizations, indirect inferences and sheer guesses, and though many interesting theoretical suggestions have been made, few specific hypotheses and certainly no systematic theory has been formulated.
Among the many possible consequences of mobility1 the present paper will be concerned only with its impact on the attitudes of accepting or rejecting the existing social and political order, with special reference to the effects of mass mobility in the lower strata.____________________