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Social Stratification & Life Chances

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I need help with these three questions:

1) Imagine a society in which there are no social classes- no differences in people's wealth, income, and life chances. What would such a society be like?

2) Would it be stable or would its social structure change over time?

3) How could you apply Max Weber's theory of stratification to this scenario? Provide examples. hide problem

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Classless Society & Social Stratification

1) Imagine a society in which there are no social classes- no differences in people's wealth, income, and life chances. What would such a society be like?

A classless society like a kibbutz or a commune does away with individual property and wealth. Everything is owned by the people/community, and, while everybody has different roles in the social organization, it is assumed that people are given particular roles because it is what they can be best at to 'serve' the common good. It is the whole rather than the individual whose interest is served in such an arrangement, in theory, a perfectly classless society will have no one above or below; everybody is equal down to the benefits, wages and support they get from the state. Life chances then should be very similar as all children will be born to families with similar realities - all will have the same access to education, opportunities as well as resources. Such a society will be governed by a 'council' or a group of elders or politicians/party leaders whose interest is to ensure that the interest of the commune remains. It is a kind of 'watchdog' that ensures all wealth, property, benefits and opportunity are equally shared and that the ideology, the central theme behind the community, remains. So any voices to the contrary complaining about lack of opportunity or working ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 3-part 865-word discussion that provides insights, advise and answers to the 3 original questions listed above (see long description/original homework question). The topics covered include social classes, life chances, social structures and their stability and Max Weber's theory of social stratification. References are included for further studies. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing and download.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Assuming stratification, explain the relationship between the concepts:

A. Ascribed Status and Life Chances
B. Ideology and Social Mobility

Use an example to explain how each of the following concepts is related to stratification (not just the definition):

A. Ethnocentrism
B. Meritocracy

Assuming stratification, explain the relationship between the concepts:

A. Ascribed Status and Life Chances
B. Ideology and Social Mobility

Use an example to explain how each of the following concepts is related to stratification (not just the definition):

A. Ethnocentrism
B. Meritocracy

A. Ascribed Status and Life Chances

Assuming stratification exists then there is a direct relationship between ascribed status and life chances. As you mentioned in your paper already ascribed status refers to the status that society places on someone based on the social level they occupy at birth without regard to any merit on their part. Sociologically speaking life chances refers to the opportunities that each individual will have to improve his or her quality of life.

http://nortonbooks.typepad.com/everydaysociology/2010/09/inequality-and-life-chances-going-to-law-school-or-going-to-prison.html

From a sociological standpoint, in a stratified society one's ascribed status directly impacts one's life chances. If I am born into a upper or middle class home I will automatically enjoy more life chances than someone born into a lower class home. More of my friends and acquaintances will be people of power, wealth and influence. Because my parents all well-off I won't have to take a job as a teenager to make ends meet. This will free me up to pursue an education. With an advanced degree I will have the academic tools with which I can pursue a prosperous and fulfilling career.

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