Prof. Matthew Williams
August 24th, 2015
One of the main concepts that we discussed this semester was the concept of life chances. Life chances refers to the likelihood that a person will do well in life. Many different factors affect a person’s life chances, either in a good way or a bad way. When thinking about how good or bad a person’s life chances are, it’s helpful to start by examining his or her social background. A social background refers to how a person was raised, the type of social environment the person was raised in, the person’s race, class, and gender, and other circumstances similar to these.
When thinking about my own life chances, I started with examining my childhood. My family and I are part of the upper middle class. My parents both went to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a competitive university, and received their Master’s Degrees. Before I was born, they both had steady jobs with good salaries. Since my parents were able to get good educations and waited until they were financially ready to have a child, they were able to raise me in a way that improved my life chances.
My parents raised me in a big house in a nice, civilized, and crime-free neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago. It was a very safe environment, allowing me to have a safe and stress-free childhood. This causes my life chances to be greater, because life in a wealthier neighborhood has fewer dangers than life in the ghetto. If I had grown up in the ghetto, I would most likely have to deal with peer pressure to join a gang or commit a crime. If that went on my record, it would be very possible to get denied from many colleges or job opportunities. Those neighborho...
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...to be able to have so many opportunities, and I am thankful for the life that I have. It’s also sad to think about the people who are less fortunate than I am. Even though they might try hard to succeed in life, their life chances create many obstacles that can be very difficult to overcome. I am lucky enough to be successful by putting in a very small amount of work compared to those who are less fortunate than I am. I also realize how much my parents affect my life chances. By providing me with a good life and paying for all of my expenses, they have greatly increased my ability to succeed. It makes me really appreciate everything they have done for me, and it encourages me to be successful so that I can do the same for my children. Not everyone is lucky enough to have good life chances, and reflecting on my own makes me understand how fortunate I really am.
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