SOCIAL MOBILITY AND SOCIAL REPRODUCTION PAPER 3
I am a citizen of Saudi Arabia. The history of my family shows how my country has been
advocating for all citizens to be provided with equal opportunity to climb up the social ladder. The
history of my family is what places me where I am today on the social ladder. Through grappling
with the history of my family, I was able to reflect on and understand my positioning as an
international student in an elite college in the United States. Like most stories of upward social
mobility across generations, my ancestors were poor. My grandmother and father were shepherds,
working in a small city to the North part of Saudi Arabia called Al Ula, where they also lived.
Apart from looking after sheep, they owned a small farm where they planted crops for subsistence.
However, they would sometimes sell the surplus harvest they got from the farm to supplement the
income they got from sheep herding so that they could pay my father’s school fees. Though they
lived in poverty, they did not let it define them, they worked hard to educate my father.
My grandparents were Muslims, as I am myself. IN my country Saudi Arabia, Islam is
main religion. My grandparents, therefore, did not face any religious prejudice that could have
hindered them from achieving what they wanted. In addition, they were native Arabs in their
mother country. Race, therefore, played no major role in shaping their lives, they had access to all
the opportunities that could enable them to achieve their goals. At no point did my parents have to
emigrate from their mother country because the city of Al Ula is a peaceful one and the people
there are friendly. However, being shepherds in the dry city of Al Ula, they had to move around
looking for pasture for the sheep they looked after since they needed to be fed. As such, they were
on the move almost all the time.
Through the efforts of my grandparents, my father was able to complete his studies and get
a good job. He pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology in Saudi Arabia. Through the
education that he got, he is able to lead a better life than that of my grandparents before him. This