What Do We Mean by Life Chances

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What do we mean by life chances?

There is a belief that depending on where people live, their life chances can vary tremendously. The term life chances was first used by sociologist Max Weber in 1948 he believed that people’s life chances were guided by their economic position. This also affected their ability to gain employment or own a property. People’s life chances can therefore be positive or negative depending on their social and economic background. Different life chances are all connected, education can affect the type of employment that a person gains which can effect where they live and the type of housing they acquire. This can all affect wealth and income and will have a bearing on how much choice people have.

Life chances means how well people do in life and housing wealth plays a big part in this. Saunders 1988 debates whether brought or rented has become significant than profession in terms of influence of peoples chances. Saunders 1988 argues that housing which is brought with a mortgage or owned symbolises a source of wealth which gives people the opportunity to purchase things through the private market like education and health care rather than depending on the state.

Saunders 1988, 1990 debates that this can be gained by withdrawing money from housing in the form of capital and obtaining the means to cheaper credit as a positive part of home ownership, therefore wealth can be passed on through inheritance. The contrast to this is people who represent a different group without access to such economic wealth.

Saunders argues that housing position affects the way the people gain services and wealth this leads to great significance of a division in society even more than occupation.

Different social scientist debates that saunders over emphasised the significance of housing tenure. For example Watt(1993) argues that not enough consideration had been given to the effects of people’s potential to withdraw equity from there...
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