Social Factors Affecting Life Chances

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Although many factors may affect life chances such as wealth, education, or occupation, the most influential factor for me would be wealth. According to Dennis Gilbert, by life chances, he (Max Weber) meant that the fundamental aspects of an individual’s future possibilities that are shaped by class membership, from the infant’s chances for descent nutrition to the adult’s opportunities for worldly access (Gilbert, 2015:7-8). Although education and occupations can give an individual a degree of mobility in terms of lifestyle, factors such as job occupations can perhaps at times be subject to instability due to external factors, such as the health of the economy. According to Gilbert, “wealth provides a safety net protection against a sudden drop in living standards in the event of job loss …show more content…
The same can perhaps be argued for many other ethnic groups in America. As stated before, education could offer more social and economic mobility throughout life, however those with significantly more wealth attain these standards of living much more easily then say a minority who has to work much harder to attain the same education, occupations, and lifestyle. Weber argues that “status groups can often restrict entry into more lucrative professions or trades and access to credit” (Gilbert, 2015:9). “More generally, birth into high-status family gives children advantages of social grace and personal contracts that eventually help their careers” (Gilbert, 2015:9). With this being said, perhaps even hard work cannot guarantee one to have a privileged lifestyle. It would seem that those already born privileged have the best chances in life, and often the most privileged include those with the most

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