Sociology, Social Closure Essay Sample

Analyse the extent to which societal closing exists in UK society. Use two contrasting theories and relevant surveies in your reply.

Social stratification is the manner in which society is stratified or “made up of layers” of societal groups in a hierarchal manner. Class stratification is a signifier of societal stratification. which tends to divide separate categories. whose members have contrasting entree to resources and power. In Britain. society is structured in footings of inequality. Different categories tend to incorporate the same sorts of people with the same “hidden barriers” halting them from being able to mount the societal ladder. Social closing is when people merely can non get away the societal category they belong to. They have no manner of being socially mobile within society. Class can be measured in a subjective manner as opposed to an nonsubjective attack. The Registrar General Scale of Classification is used to organize society into different categories. Social closing. nevertheless. is when a individual has the inability to mount or fall from their topographic point in society. And with capitalist economy. it is indispensable in order for this political orientation to work within today’s society. There is a definite divide between the middle class and the labor. and hence. societal closing. most definitely exists in today’s society.

There are a figure of different sociological positions that attempt to explicate category stratification. One theory of which is Marxism. Karl Marx believed that there was a definite struggle between the categories. and that the system of stratification derives from different societal groups and their dealingss to the agencies of production. From Marx’s position. a category group is when all it’s members portion the same dealingss to the agencies of production. Marxism besides believes that there are merely 2 categories. the middle class and the labor. demoing societal closing. The middle class exploit the labor who have to sell their labor to the opinion category. Marx believed that the ownership of the agencies of production has the indispensable ingredient in make up one’s minding which category a individual belonged to.

In modern twenty-four hours Britain. it is capitalist economy that creates divisions within category in today’s society. which relates to Marx’s thought of substructure impacting society in that the ownership of the agencies of production create tenseness between the categories. Marx besides believed that struggle would ensue in alteration. and that one twenty-four hours the labor would lift up against the middle class and that there would be a revolution. but to this twenty-four hours that is still to come. Which is of class still relevant in our society today. as we can see clearly that the “proletariat” have non risen to revolt against the “bourgeoisie” . So hence. today. we see no societal mobility. and alternatively. societal closing.

A strength that Marxism possesses is that it draws attending to the development of the labor by the middle class. which emphasises the importance of economic ownership within society. This benefits sociologists in that they can easy recognize societal closing in the UK today as we see that people who own their ain companies are most likely to be the “bourgeoisie” of society. Marx explains how the battle between the category groups creates struggle within society. This proves to be true in the twenty-first century as there us a current battle for power. and the labor suffer in a closed system of stratification.

There are failings of Marxist theory. as it is seen by sociologists as “too economically deterministic” . and privileges the function of the labor. in demoing that they exploit themselves to the middle class. Another failing is that Marx claims there would be a revolution one twenty-four hours. which has still ne’er occurred. turn outing that societal closing is present in society today. because the working category still have non risen above the middle class. and there still remains a false category consciousness.

A contrasting theory to Marxism is functionalism. Functionalism is a theory that believes strongly in meritocracy. Harmonizing to Talcott Parsons. anyone who works difficult plenty and hold on all chances will be able to mount the societal hierarchy and achieve what they desire. The category person is born into should non cut down their opportunities in ulterior life if they work hard plenty. This highlights societal mobility in that anyone. no affair what their “social barriers” may be. that they can easy mount the societal ladder due to difficult work and meritocracy. The category divisions in society are reflected as of import. as different businesss define where a individual “belongs” to in society. Different occupations can be expressed as a gradient. and there will so be several places and categories in the hierarchy. Peoples who are socially nomadic are awarded from their hard-work with a good topographic point within society. Though today. can Parson’s theory truly be true? “Hidden barriers” are what keep people from mounting the societal hierarchy. and functionalism merely truly “accepts” the capitalist system.

A strength of functionalism is that it suggests that persons can mount up the societal ladder and can go successful. The whole political orientation of meritocracy is that anyone. no affair what their background. linguistic communication. gender or race. can accomplish anything if they work hard plenty to acquire it. Functionalism provides an account for inequality merely because people are discriminated against in society for their speech pattern. background etc. This means that people with inequalities automatically go down the hierarchy. or worse. they are born into the bottom terminal of the societal ladder. So in today’s society. functionalism can be used to understand that societal closing is present due to concealed barriers.

A failing of functionalism is that there are many jobs with thoughts of difficult work and instruction are making an unjust society in that merely the people who can afford an instruction are acquiring one. and that those who are disadvantaged in any manner. are in societal closing. and neglect to mount the hierarchy. Besides functionalism ignores capitalist economy. but merely acknowledges it and accepts it. it does non explicate in anyhow how society’s categories evolve unit of ammunition capitalist economy and that capitalist economy is straight related to societal closing. in that the middle class exploit the labor.

Social closing has been studied by many in item. One survey of which was by Scott. who focused on The Upper Classes. Property and Privilege in Britain ( 1982 ) in order to reason that there is still a governing category in Britain. Scott believes that the upper categories have seen of import alterations in the latter half of the 20th century. However. he argues that these alterations have non led to their disappearing or so a decline of their power influence. Scott bases his analysis on Weberian constructs such as societal closing. Though his findings reflect a Marxist analysis in that he feels that within Britain there is a governing category. whose power and influence are based on the capitalist political orientation.

There is tonss of grounds that supports Scott’s analysis. In 2002. about ?160 billion of wealth in Britain was controlled by 1000 of the richest households in Britain. Presently. there are 126 female MPs. which is a record degree whereas the figure should be about 330. In 2001. merely 12 % of labour MPs had a on the job category background. which shows societal closing in that merely the richer or better off people became MPs. which besides refutes the labour leftist political orientation.

However. Scott is criticised for undervaluing the alterations which have allowed entree to the opinion category. He is criticised for undervaluing the diminution in household owned houses and the growing of pension houses. insurance companies whose financess include investings by 1000000s of ordinary workers. Showing societal closing in that the middle class are the “elite” and are the ruling opinion category.

Another survey that looks at societal closing is The Sociology of the Professions ( 1997 ) by Keith MacDonald. This survey deals with what MacDonald calls the “professional project” . in which professions try to set up and keep a monopoly in their chosen field. To make this. such professionals must at the onset set up societal closing. which is a important portion in making a monopoly. which allows them to command their services. frequently ensuing in really high fiscal wagess.

MacDonald’s survey is supported by the professional organic structures. which exist in modern societies such as Britain. for illustration the BMA. the Law society and the institute of Chartered Accountants. Such professions are amongst some of the highest paid in Britain and they do frequently exert a practical monopoly in their chosen field. MacDonald’s positions are partially supported by C Wright Mills who saw these professions as being portion of the power elite in America. Again. demoing that the middle class are the definite opinion category within society.

MacDonald’s survey is criticised for reasoning that such professions can move chiefly in their ain involvements. and critics argue that they progressively work on behalf of the rich and powerful.

To reason. the theories and surveies used by sociologists to analyze societal closing within society have been utile in assisting us understand today’s society in the twenty-first century. Unemployment rates are around 2. 53 million. and with this. the labor are happening looking for work much harder than in the yesteryear. Meritocracy is turn outing really hard to prosecute in today’s society as employers. or the middle class. hold much higher criterions for people to take on. With this. an on-going false category consciousness will go on and these concealed barriers will go on to maintain the labor and the middle class separated in societal closing.

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