Social Stratification

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In Australian society, many people agree that the socio-economic class that you are born into will determine the life chances you ultimately have for the rest of your life. Australian society is highly based upon the concept of social stratification which “refers to the division of the population of a society into strata arranged in a hierarchy” (Aspin, Lois J., 1996: page 39) Sociologists study the social world through paradigms, which are theoretical frameworks such as functionalism and conflict theory. The way that they view society is through these paradigms in which they evaluate the life chances that individuals get throughout their life. Life chances are defined as “the chances an individual has in sharing in the economic, social and cultural resources of the society in which he or she lives.” (Aspin, Lois J., 1996: page 37.) Some of the ways in which socio-economic status can be seen throughout society is through housing, education, youth and health. In Australia, families and individuals place great value on home ownership, and the area in which they live. “Housing in our society serves a dual role; it assists in meeting physical needs and it provides a mean for symbolising social position.” (Aspin, Lois J., 1996: page 86). Housing, is a valued resource and various social groups have different access to it. Inequality in our society can be seen in housing opportunities available to different social groups, such as opportunities available to high paid individuals and families compared to low paid or welfare reliant individuals and families. Home ownership is a widely held ambition in Australia, as it provides security of long-term economic benefits. Owning a home can also bring social and cultural benefits such as a sense ... ... middle of paper ... ...kup/4704.0Chapter750Oct+2010 Crossman, A., 2000, Sociology of Social Inequality, website, cited 21/03/14 Tobacco Smoking, 2005, website, cited 21/03/14 Markey, M., Watson, C., 2011, Australia Becomes fast Food Nation and Moves to 11th Position for Spending on Takeaway, website, cited 21/03/14 Nobbs, J.,1983, Sociology in Context, Macmillan Education Limited, London Aspin, Lois J., 1996, Focus on Australian Society, 2nd Edition, Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty Limited, Melbourne Richards, B., 2010, ‘Poverty Pain in Lucky Country’, The Mercury Tasmania http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/national-obesity-rising/5151388
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