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

Is the study of class still relevant in the UK today?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

It is debated whether the study of class is still relevant in the UK today. Is the study of class still relevant in the UK today? (30 marks) It has been debated by many sociologists whether or not class is still relevant in the UK. It could be argued that there is evidence that a closed system may be dated and there is more mobility within the UK today as there is evidence to suggest people have more opportunities so it is therefore more open. This essay will demonstrate these two points and show how class may not be as relevant within modern society and other factors must be considered aside from class. Social stratification can be defined as the way society is stratified in a hierarchical way. Sociologists have identified that stratification systems can be divided into two groups open and closed. Open is said to be the class system within the UK today and allows for social mobility. The closed system such as slavery, Feudalism and Caste is one of social closure in which an individual is permanently assigned to a status based on his or her parents' status. Class stratification can be based on sets of people regarded by themselves or others as sharing similar status with regard to wealth, power and prestige. ...read more.

Middle

Glass (1954) supports the functionalist's theory of stratification. His study Social Mobility in Britain was the first sociological study on mobility in Britain and studied inter-generational mobility of men from different generations. ~It identified high levels of intergenerational mobility with 2/3 of men interviewed in different status groups to their fathers. It found that 1/3 had experienced upward mobility, 1/3 downward mobility and 1/3 had remained in the same category as their fathers. Glass found that class status of the family directly affected life chances. Although this study, on the surface shows social mobility within society, if it is studied deeper it proves that mobility may be limited and gives evidence of social closure. The higher the occupational status of the father the more likely the son was of achieving a high status position. In the high status categories there was a significant degree of self recruitment. 45% of the members in category 1 in the Registrar General Scale were the sons of fathers also in category 1. This is 13 times greater than what would be expected by chance. If parental occupation had no influence on a person's status then you would expect 3.5% of the sons in category 1 to have fathers in the same position. ...read more.

Conclusion

It studied males between the ages of 20 and 64 and it found that there was a higher rate of long range mobility than in 1949. This mobility was more upward. 2/3 of the sons of unskilled/ semi skilled workers were in manual occupations. Relative mobility chances varied significantly between the classes. For example 45.7% of sons with class 1 fathers ended up in this class compared to only 7.1% of those men whose fathers were in class 7. The study also found that unemployment had effected all the classes but most noticeably within the working class. The findings in this study would suggest initially that mobility has increased in the UK but in 1972 class boundaries were still evident and it wasn't as open or meritocratic as suggested. Goldthorpe and Glass' studies cannot be compared directly as different scales were used to measure stratification. This makes the results unreliable. The sample used was also biased as it did not include women. To conclude, class may not be as relevant in the UK today as some theorist may suggest although it still plays a part, mainly being subjectively, how people see their own position within society. Other factors must be considered in today's society that may not have been so relevant in the last century, such as party and status. ?? ?? ?? ?? Elizabeth Hamilton 1 ...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. What are the major dimensions of social stratification?

    Weber pointed out that a significant feature of such groups is that members are aware of themselves as a group. He also pointed out that status groups can cut across class lines and also create divisions within classes. Weber observations are important in suggesting that status is the basis of group formation rather than class in some cases.

  2. Are issues of Social Class still relevant in modern society?

    The contentious issue of an emerging 'underclass' will be investigated as will the idea of an expanding 'middle class' - largely unrecognised in Marx's' era. Whilst there is no generally agreed definition of social 'class', most people would agree that social differentiation exists.

  1. The essay will interpret inequalities in health among the sub-populations of socio-economic class position, ...

    OHN claims that breastfeeding decreased the incidence and severity of many infections of infancy and it protects against respiratory illnesses. The Black Report (Black et al. 1982:49) and the Health and Lifestyles Survey 1985-86 (OHN) noted that; " The most marked gradients are for deaths from...respiratory diseases."

  2. The position of widows in Nepalese society - sociological study.

    The recommendations of these conferences covered issues such as pensions, the need for registration of both husband and wife as owners of land, tighter enforcement of penal laws criminalising violence to widows within the family and the community; credit and loan schemes; and the need to use all means to change social stereotyping.

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

    In this ethic, economic acquisition is no longer considered a means of subsistence: it is the ultimate purpose of a man's life. This is combined with the strict avoidance of all spontaneous enjoyment of life. (NOTE: From the standpoint ''of the happiness of, or utility to, a single individual, this ethic appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational'' (53)).

  2. What do you understand by the term 'patriarchy'? Is the concept still relevant to ...

    and show how patriarchy still dominates, in differing degrees, in each one. Thus highlighting that the concept of patriarchy is a very important one to the study of contemporary gender and geography as it underlies the whole notion of gender inequality and lays the basis for contemporary gender relations.

  1. SOCIAL INEQUALITIES- CASTE AND CLASS

    are performed by the Harijan's. No matter how many human rights groups step in to try and do something about this severe inequality, it continues to exist. Some caste's, like that in Japan, the employment system hires a private investigator to search people backgrounds to see if they have an Baraku (equivalent to untouchables)

  2. The Glass Ceiling

    "...a common problem for women trying to break into traditionally male occupations is the pre-existing male information and support network. This remains a problem once women are hired. For example only relatively recently have women workers broken into traditionally male-dominated sectors of the auto industry.

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