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How Far Do Sociologists Believe That Ethnicity Is the Most Important Influence on Life Chances

  • Date Submitted: 11/21/2013 09:21 PM
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How far do sociologists believe that ethnicity is the most important influence on life chances?


Life chances are the likelihood of obtaining assets defined as desirable and of avoiding those defined as the opposite. This includes the odds of acquiring things such as good quality housing, good health, a sturdy profession and educational success; it also means avoiding pitfalls such as ill health and unemployment. Ethnicity is the shared culture of a social group, which gives its members a common identity in some ways different from other groups. This refers to the common culture of a social group, such as language, religion, styles of dress, food, shared history and experiences.                     To a certain extent sociologists believe that ethnicity is the most important influence on life chances however, there are key themes such as gender and class which both have a substantial impact on life chances also.

Within gender, it is seen that men have better life chances than that of women in terms of employment and wealth; it is evident that there are a higher percentage of men in high paid professional jobs. However statically, in terms of class, the higher you are, the better your life chances. Children who grow up in middle class households generally have better healthcare, higher chances of educational success and financial backing, which often leads to better employment and future prospects.

Nevertheless, ethnicity evidently still plays a critical role in life chances. Ethnic groups such as Blacks and Asians are still penalized in today’s society, distinctively in employment and educational success. African-Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are less likely to secure the best jobs. These groups are under-represented in non-manual occupations, particularly in managerial and professional work. They are over-represented in semi skilled and unskilled manual occupations and are more likely to work longer and more unsociable hours (shift and...

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