• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the concepts of social class and social mobility from at least two theoretical perspectives.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the concepts of social class and social mobility from at least two theoretical perspectives. According to Yeo and Lovell, it is important to make clear at the start that when sociologists use the term 'social class' (or 'class'), they are using it neutrally. There is no implication that middle-class people are 'better' than working-class people, or that upper-class people are 'better' than both. But, by using the term 'class' sociologists are recognising its importance. It is as probably important in Britain - especially England - as anywhere else in the world. We can distinguish between the class into which one is born (class of origin) and the class one ends up in (class of destination). For many they are the same. Others, however, through social mobility, move up or down the social class scale. Our class of origin is important because it significantly influences all our lives. However, while class influences, for instance, our educational achievements, it does not determine them. This is because, to a varying extent, individuals (and their families) can also influence their own lives. ...read more.

Middle

The Marxist view of social class is that in every society one group emerges which gains control of the economy (in Britain today, industry and commerce; in the pre-industrial Britain, it was the land). Marx calls these the bourgeoisie, and they arrange society to their own benefit using their enormous wealth and power. There are only tiny fractions of the whole population, no more than 5 per cent. Everyone else in society works for these people, making them richer. Of course, there are massive differences between those people who work for the bourgeoisie, some are managers earning very high salaries, and others may be manual workers who earn very little. However, they all share one fundamental link. They do not own in any significant way the industry or the commercial institutions. These people are called the proletariat. Marxists today stress that there are many superficial distinctions between the various groups in society, but point out the enormous concentration of wealth in the hands of very few people in contemporary Britain. In order to understand our society with its social problems and great differences in wealth and quality of life, Marxists points to the power of the bourgeoisie to manipulate the rest of the population to work for them and to accept this situation as being quite correct. ...read more.

Conclusion

In other words, for most of us, our market situation depends upon skills, qualifications and other qualities we bring to the job market. That will determine the rewards we receive in terms of earned income, job security, various 'fringe benefits' or perquisites ('perks'), opportunities for advancement, provisions for retirement and so on. The stronger the person's market situation, the greater the rewards. But these differences do encourage a greater sense of distance between different groups of workers - between workers with different skill levels and between manual and non-manual workers - which Marx seemed to minimise. Weber also introduced the idea of status groups, that is, groups of people who are similar in terms of their lifestyles and patterns of consumption. Different status groups can be seen to exist within each social class. Hollywood Bowls Tel :( 01642) 633666 Define poverty and the effects of poverty on children using a theoretical explanation. With reference to the BBC 'Eyes of a Child' video, highlight the way in which poverty has restricted the life chances of the children, and demonstrate class differences and how they may be improved for a better future. Sociology Learning Outcome 3 Claire Wright Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Karl Marx and Max Weber have different views upon social class in contemporary societies.

    In conclusion, Weber's view on social class developed and improved Marx's view in a much larger extent. Marx suggested that social class is determined by the ownership and non-ownership of the "means of production". He called those who own the means of production "bourgeoisie" (i.e.

  2. Different Sociological Perspectives on Crime

    They no longer thought the way the older generation did, in the ideas of work; it was merely a necessity that allowed them to take part in subcultural activities - especially dress and music styles they choose. Sociological study Maureen Snider, 1993.

  1. Compare and contrast two of the perspectives - Marx & Weber

    Weber's theory on status whilst offering more freedom and flexibility than Marx's theory can also be very restricting. People are very aware of their status and don't tend to mix with people of other status's even if they are of the same class, examples of this are people of different

  2. The Social Effects of the Industrial Revolution

    According to the Hammonds, the consequence of child labor indicates the depreciation of the quality of life. Better quality of life would not allow child labor to exist. Humanitarianism is central to their arguments, and the degradation of human values to allow child labor to subsist is the paramount indication

  1. To what extent has social mobility become more common in Britain during the last ...

    They think that intra-generational mobility is not too difficult to achieve, and society provides everyone with opportunities.

  2. Using examples describe a range of sociological perspectives and theories (including both classic and ...

    "As we see our face, figure, and dress in the glass, and are interested in them because they are ours, and pleased or otherwise with them according as they do or do not answer to what we should like them to be; so in imagination we perceive in another's mind

  1. Crime and Social class - Hypothesis - 'There is a relationship between social ...

    Sometimes this bought them into conflict with the law. Most working class people who fail at school have boring lives. This means that they try to have fun and take risks, which can bring them into contact with the police. 2. Anomie Robert Merton has suggested that all societies, in order to motivate people provide them with some aim, which they can achieve through hard work.

  2. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    or emotionally empathetic or artistically appreciative (though sympathetic participation we grasp the emotional context in which the action took place). For purposes of ideal type analysis, it's convenient to treat irrational (from the point of view of rational pursuit of a given end)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work