Social Closure Essay

2360 Words10 Pages
Explain to what extent is social closure a feature of social class in the UK in the 21st century. Use two contrasting theories and relevant studies in your answer. (2009) Social stratification describes the structured ranking of individuals and groups and is made up of layers. An individual who can change their status easily and are able to move between classes is referred to open system by sociologists, which is used currently in Britain and those who cannot change their status easily, is referred to a closed system by sociologists. The two main class stratification systems are the Hindu caste system and that social class system. Class can be measured in a number of ways and using the Registrar General Scale is the most common way used to organise society into different classes. Some people aren’t able to move between classes because of what is known as ‘hidden barriers’ which prevents them to be socially mobile. These social groups/classes usually share common interests and identities that separate them from other social groups in society, and in the 21st century we see that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Social closure means an individual is unable to move up or down the social ladder. There have been many changes in society that contribute to social closure such as the decline in heavy industries and an increase in service industries. This is coupled with the decline in traditional class alignment and people’s perceptions of themselves and class. And in modern day society we still see that it is the poorer people that are unable to be socially mobile. THEORIES In an attempt to explain class stratification there have been many different sociological perspectives. One theory that will be discussed is Marxism. A Marxist perspective believes a class is a social group whose members share the same relationship to the means of
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