Essay on A Sociological Theory Of Life Chances

Essay on A Sociological Theory Of Life Chances

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Life chances is a sociological theory of the opportunities each individual potentially has to improve his or her life. According to this theory, the available resources in a person’s life dictate whether his or her life will remain the same or improve, both economically and socially. Life chances are essentially shaped by our socioeconomic status. Belonging to a certain social class makes it predictable to determine an individual’s quality of education, work, and family. While many individuals in our society conceive that if they work hard enough they will attain success in what ever they set out to do, contrary evidence shows that our social positon in many ways is a result of our family’s social status and impacts the level of success one can receive. In addition to our family’s social status, the inequalities that different races and genders face consequently impacts an individual’s ability to improve his or her life. which is based solely on their physical appearance and social stigma.

Postmodernism is a sociological theory studied by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, which states that social class is passed down from one generation to the next and thus remains relatively stable. According to Bourdieu, this happens as a result of each generations acquisition, cultural capital, children inherit tastes, habits, and expectations from their parents, and cultural capital can either help or hinder them as they become adults. An individual’s family is the first and primary social group a person is exposed to. Depending on the socioeconomic status of the person’s family determine the types of norms and values and individual will acquire. For example, if the parents of the child are highly educated and value pursuing higher education after...


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... individual. A person’s life chances are depicted by passed down socioeconomic statuses, which play a role in the quality of education one acquires to pursue a higher education and better paying job. As a person living in these conditions in the present society, I believe that a families socioeconomic status displays the success an individual will achieve throughout their life. I notice the evidence in myself as well as individuals raised in different circumstances around me. Acquiring this new knowledge about the factors that contribute to life chances has affected me by making myself more aware of how society is cyclical, beginning with past generations. Any individual has the power to change their life chance, however society has acquired such negative stigmas about different individuals it makes it hard to increase a individual’s status socially and economically.

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