• 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. Marked by a teacher

    Should drugs be legalized in the UK?

    3 star(s)

    Drug users become more selfish in continuing their habit that has nothing to do with well-being of the society. Young people who are most at risk, will find it more difficult to buy drugs (drug dealers don't check ID, but liquor stores and pharmacies do).

  2. 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.

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

    With reference to the original ideas of Marx, this essay will explore whether 'class' can still be considered as the predominant determinant of power and influence in the UK society; whether breeding and economic status do contribute to determining life opportunities.

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

    In order to arise, the spirit of capitalism had to struggle with its 'most important opponent,' traditionalism. For instance, workers will respond to an increase in piece rates by doing less work, collecting the usual amount of money, and going home early.

  1. Social Stratification.

    Children within these family groups may have the attitude towards money of it being spent quickly and grabbing pleasures while they can and therefore neglecting their education and long term plans. This cycle continues and they remain in poverty. Lewis also noted that the leisure patterns of the under class

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

    Infant mortality rates in social class V are double, those in social class 1." Information provided by OHN states, that babies with fathers in social class 4 and 5 have a birth weight that is on average 130 grams lower than that of babies with fathers in classes 1 and 2.

  1. Briefly outline one major inequality which exists in the UK today. Analyse and discuss ...

    A move that merited boys more places than deserved at grammar schools. (Skelton cited Taylor et al 1998:303). Throughout this time liberal feminists have campaigned for equality in the form of women's rights, seeking change through both legislation and the re-education of attitudes, which successfully led to the introduction of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.

  2. Gender as a form of Social Stratification.

    According to Brown and Gintis (1976 p.42) d3N19nEw1 "Schools do different things to different children, boys and girls, black and white, rich and poor are treated differently. Affluent suburban schools, working class schools and ghetto (black) schools all exhibit george1986's structuralism .

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