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

To what extent has social mobility become more common in Britain during the last fifty years?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent has social mobility become more common in Britain during the last fifty years? Some sociologists have argued that social mobility has become more mobile over the last fifty years, and that there is a lot of movement up and down the class system. However this view is not shared by all sociologists, as some would argue that Britain is more of a "closed" society than an "open" one. Different sociologists have opposing views on social class. All agree that it is an important aspect of society, but there is a disagreement as to the extent of how "open" or "closed" society has become. Social class has been defined in various ways by different groups of sociologists. The Marxists argue that in a capitalist society people are divided into two social classes. They believe that membership of these classes was determined by economic factors: the ownership or non-ownership of property. Their two classes are the bourgeoisie the ruling class; they were the owners of wealth and property, and the proletariat; the working class who worked as labourers for the bourgeoisie. ...read more.

Middle

Other sociologists would argue against this view and say that society is not as "open" as the functionalists make it out to be. For example, if an Eden student and a student from an ordinary state school were to apply to a university with the same the exam grades, the Eden student would be more likely to get the place because of their background. In an "open" society, the social background of individuals should make no difference to their chance of mobility. However, as with the Eden and state school student, social class background and low levels of educational qualifications can reduce people's chances of mobility. Gender and ethnic background can also influence opportunities. For example, although women may receive better qualifications than men, they may be less likely to move upwards through employment than men as a result of taking time out to bring up children. Recently it has become less common for employers to discriminate people because of their sex. This is because of legal changes like the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Sex Discrimination Act introduced in 1975. Ethnic minorities also used to face discrimination by employers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Luck, such as a lottery win or an inheritance can also lead to mobility in terms of lifestyle. These factors suggest that it has become easier to move up the " social ladder". I would like to agree with the Functionalists view of society. That society has become "open" and allows mobility between classes, ensuring that the most talented and dedicated individuals are given the opportunity to reach the top, to perform the roles that are vital for society. However I do not feel that this extent of social mobility has been achieved yet in society. I feel that since the 1950s the pattern of social mobility has shown a general upward movement, where it is not uncommon for people of working-class backgrounds, women, or ethnic minorities to enter professional and managerial jobs. I think that the division between working and middle class is becoming blurred and more fragmented. However, I also feel that at the other end of the spectrum there is becoming an increasingly bigger gap between the middle and upper class. Kathrina Crystallis 10J 1 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. Gender as a form of Social Stratification.

    all areas of people activity (economic, education, entertainment, labour, law, politics, religion, sex and war). The ultimate purpose of the system is to prevent white genetic annihilation on Earth - a planet in which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non- white (Black, Brown, Red and Yellow)

  2. Analysing Education in Britain. Student fees, Acadamies and Differences in Attainment Levels.

    This is done in a similar way to jobs as they are broken down into separate tasks for people, with little connection. The jobs people perform have different tasks and never really mix or get the full picture of what is going on.

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

    We choose this one-sided approach, however, as a way to investigate cultural reality by specific technical means and using qualitatively similar categories (remember, though, material interests are found in every aspect of culture). There is no absolutely objective scientific analysis of culture independent of special and one-sided viewpoints according to

  2. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    Do You Think Ethnic Minorities are responsible for the way they are portrayed by people? Explain your answer Do you think that the media/or public portray ethnic minorities in a negative way? Yes No Why? If YES, do you think it's due to behaviour in society that ethnic minorities are portrayed in a negative way?

  1. The consumer society: Has the signification of the product become more important than its ...

    'As part of the process of social reproduction, classes in competition with each other attempt to impose their own habitus or system of classification on other classes, as part of their more general struggle to become dominant' (Lury, 1996, p88).

  2. Have (or how have) representations of the ethnic or national 'other' changed in post-war ...

    Rather than valuing the diversity other cultures bring to Britain, Blunkett suggests that he 'would not tolerate the intolerable under the guise of cultural difference.' (Malik, 2002,) Reference to arranged marriage among British Asians is made and emphasises that this stance has not changed.

  1. What do you consider to be the main causes of social conflict in Britain's ...

    mobilized violence, as there is support from fellow young residents and peers. Smaller groups of youngsters living on the estates would find it difficult to make an impression as numbers would be too small to cause the large scale of disorder evident in the riots of the last decade.

  2. Discuss the ways in which British cities have become more socially divided in the ...

    Such divisions can be seen most starkly in the spatial concentrations of those who experience numerous disadvantages on the social housing estates within the UK's cities. Research into income inequality and poverty has established that those trapped at the bottom of the economic system often inhabit the worst areas of

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