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Politics and Life Chances

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How does the distribution of political power affect the life chances of people who are under-represented in terms of race/ethnicity, class and gender? analyze how special interest groups, such as lobbies and grass roots organizations, may promote or prevent social change?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Life Chances & Political Power

Can political power affect the life chances of people, especially those considered part of the minority and the under-represented? To answer this question, let us first define what life chances mean. Life chances or 'lebenschancen' is a political theory introduced by German thinker Max Weber. He posits that given certain factors and opportunities, an individual's probability to improve, succeed and better his/her life is probable. This can be taken in the opposite direction by looking at what is lacking or absent, that without certain opportunities and factors, an individual might not have a chance in life and in bettering is/her future. Consider for example middle class American kids - born to working parents of good moral values and in communities where education, ambition and empowerment are key. Kids in such placement are better off and have a better chance in life than say, kids in refugee camps in Somalia whose families have no hope for the ...

Solution Summary

The life chances of people as determined by distribution of political power and of race, ethnicity, gender and class is discussed and explored. references are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.