Max Weber's Concept of 'Life Chances'

Explain how an individual's social class position at birth may affect what Max Weber called "life chances"?*

- Describe how "life chances" may affect an individual's life goals (positive or negative).
- In what ways may "life chances" be irrelevant?
- Give examples of how the concept of "life chances" operates in a (a) caste system, (b) a class system, and (c) a one-party Communist system such as China.

*By "life chances" Weber meant the ability of an individual to attain the "good things" a society values: good health care, longevity, a good job, security, status, wealth, power, and prestige.

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,184-word essay that discusses Max Weber's concept of 'Life Chances' and how it affects an individual's life goals and aspirations. How life chances operates in such social orders as a caste system, a class system and a communist society is also discusses. Possibilities wherein life chances might not be irrelevant is also included in the discussion. References are listed to allow students room for further research.