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In a broad sense, mobility refers to the movement of people in a social structure, such as from place to place, from job to job, or from one social class or level to another. As a result, it is necessary to distinguish social mobility from economic mobility and diasporic (cultural and political) displacement. Firstly, social mobility is the movement from a lower position to higher position. For various reasons, people of higher status and position may be forced to come down to a lower status and position. Thus, people in society continue to move up and down the status scale and it is an inseparable aspect of the social stratification system because the nature, form, range and degree of social mobility depends on the very nature of the stratification system. Secondly, economic mobility is related with migration. It is a form of spatial mobility caused mainly by economic factors. The rate of migration is directly proportional to the available opportunities at the places of origin and at the place of destination. Finally, political mobilities are related with the diasporic displacements of people caused by conflicts. They are the movements of great masses of people because of inhumane conditions and feelings of abandonment.

The contemporary mobilities are affected by global forces and flows in the new global cultural economy understood as a complex, overlapping, disjunctive order. In this process transnational practices emerge along with new subjectivities and theories about American cultural imperialism and cultural homogenisation that were inadequate given the myriad and often surprising ways in which local cultures and peoples redefine and reshape themselves according to local necessities and markets, ideas and products which arrive from outside. There was a need, therefore, to rescue the local from the global, valuing the capacity of the populations inhabiting what, in effect, are subaltern or peripheral positions in the global system.