The video will be going over The Lion King’s commentary on sociology and social mobility. Throughout the movie,
the circle of life plays a large role in dictating how the animals in the Pride Lands live, and the video will
explore how it plays into message of social immobility. The video also analyzes the effects of breaking the
circle of life as shown through Scar’s reign and its implied message.
In order to understand sociology in relation to social mobility and the Lion King more in depth, here is a
lesson plan with resources and questions to gauge your understanding.
Have your students go over this information sheet and fully understand reasons and types of social mobility.
Social mobility: movement of individuals or groups of people through a system of social hierarchy
Types of social mobility:
Horizontal mobility: when a person changes occupational position but not social class. Ex: a
software engineer at Yahoo changes jobs and becomes a software engineer at AOL
Vertical mobility: when a person changes social class. Ex: a villager in the Dark Ages barters his
way up and becomes a noble
Movement within Society
Upward mobility: person moves from a lower position to a higher position
Downward mobility: person moves from a higher position to a lower position
Closed society: a society in which there is little social mobility
Factors Leading to Social Mobility:
Education: the level of knowledge for each person dictates which jobs are suitable for him/her. A
higher education means that he can pursue more coveted jobs, leading to high social status.
Industrialization: whenever a country or region industrializes, a new social system usually arises
where ability and skill are the true determinants of social status
Legislation: new laws or rules can enforce social mobility
Influence of media on children: media influences a child’s social behavior as well as his/her attitude
towards race and gender
As children grow and develop, they start taking in more information from around them.
Have them answer these questions then proceed to have a group discussion.
Give a historical example of a closed society.
What is an example of legislation leading to enforced social mobility?
Would the hyena’s social mobility in The Lion King be horizontal mobility or vertical mobility and why?
Which factor led to the hyena’s mobility in The Lion King?
Would the “Circle of Life” and ingrained lessons on social mobility impact children? If so, how would
they impact them?