Social Inequality and Social Mobility
DOI link for Social Inequality and Social Mobility
Social Inequality and Social Mobility book
This chapter examines social inequality of "life chances", that is, in Giddens's words, "the chances an individual has of sharing in the socially created economic and cultural goods which typically exist in any given society". Inequality of life chances can be approached from two perspectives, corresponding to different aspects of the stratification system: the division of goods between social groups or categories and the access of individuals to the same groups. The dominant role of central planning in determining socioeconomic objectives, assigning economic functions, and providing resources increases the significance of political, economic, and administrative power in shaping the system of social inequalities. The principle of "equality of opportunity" in access to social positions has traditionally been propagated by liberal-democratic ideologies, but during the last decade it has also been advanced as an essential goal of social policy in socialist countries.