Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Marxism Pages: 2 (755 words) Published: April 10, 2013
EVALUATE SOCIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS FOR DIFFERING LIFE CHANCES This assignment is going to explore an evaluation of various sociological explanations of life chances including health. This will be done by defining life chances and link them with the relevant theories such as the conflict, consensus, and social action theory. Life chances can be defined as the opportunities that arise in life that will determine the significant outcome of an individual’s life. Factors such as education, wealth, social class, and ethnicity can influence life chances. They differ from person to person, a person born into a wealthy social class family is considered to have better life chances than one born into a poor family. It is important to note that one’s health is also defined by life chances. Referring to the inequalities of health Chapman (2000, p.13) says that, it is an indication of difference in life chances that exist between ruling and working class. This view blames the ill-health of working class people on capitalism. The Black Report (1980) and The Health Divide (1987) support this by stating ill health amongst working class, as poverty. Long working hours, poor housing and poor education can make them prone to ill health. Medical companies and professionals capitalise on this, they are seen as a social institution that is in place to support the capitalist interest by keeping “workforce” healthy. , making huge profits of money in the process (IBID). Even though Marxism blames capitalism for ill health amongst the working class, health improved under capitalism. This has also seen the life expectancy double since the 19th century. Harper tells (p.21, 2006) us that capitalism brought something good, the infant mortality is lower and also diseases such as tuberculosis have been eradicated. The working class’ life chances have effect on their health. Cultural deprivation theory sees the inequality in health witnessed between the working and middle class, a result of...
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