The class social division in society does not only relate to a person’s life chances in terms of employment but can also affect an individuals’ educational expectancy and journey. This divide occurs as people from a middle-class background have the funding and resources to go onto higher education in this instance the class division has beneficial life chances for a person from a middle-class background. This is supported by the number of recorded applicants that UCAS (2013), received showing that the number of applicants from a disadvantaged area of England was around 16%, these applicants tended to be from working-class areas; in comparison to this the number of applicants from an advantaged or middle-class areas of England were around 53%. Bourdieu (1997) would explain this occurrence as a result of the capital, in particular the cultural capital that the middle-class applicants have. This indicates that they use the resources and contacts for the means of furthering their life chances by getting into the university of their choice which results in them having greater opportunities to not only have the qualifications that they want but to also use it in order to influence their opportunities in employment and many other aspects of their lives. Within the education aspect of society, especially amongst the university aspects of education, the theory of intersectionality of social divisions play a key role in a person’s chances for getting into their desired university, as an indicator a man from a working-class would be less inclined to apply or got to university in comparison to that of a woman from a working or middle-class background. This is supported by statistics collected by UCAS (2013), as it found that 40% of women applied to university in comparison to the 29.9% of men that applied. This shows that within the gender social division women are more likely to have the opportunity or chance in their life to go and study at university. This contrasts to that for the figures for men, this could be due to that they are seen as being less desirable for universities in comparison or it could be that due to their class background it might not be seen as the right opportunity/path for them to take in addition they might not have the opportunity as they might lack the income in order to afford the rising costs of studying at university.
The middle-class social group might have a greater opportunity to go to University there are some aspects of their everyday life that are less likely to occur due to their background. An example of this would be that they are less likely to be emerged within a community that develops and supports each other. An example of this comes from Janes and Mooney (2002: 24), where they outlined that many people living within gated communities tend to be from a middle-class background due to the level of income that they have access to; they highlight that with them living within these residences it invites social exclusion as they create a barrier between themselves and the rest of society. This limits their chance to be within a supportive community; in McKenzie’s (2002: 1349), journal of ‘St Ann’s’ she found that within the council estate they created a community that supported each other as each member could relate and feel safe amongst each other due to them having a collective identity of belonging. McKenzie’s (2002: 1349), study refers back to the concept of intersectionality as she discovered that within the community that she studied many of them were black single mothers that were from a working-class background would actually have greater opportunities to be involved and integrated within their community as they would feel safe and comfortable to be in their community. This contrasts to that of the middle-class gated community (Jane and Mooney 2002: 24), as the people living within their community would have different priorities as they could see the interactive community as being one that will distract them from their work, hence why they invite social exclusion by living in a gated community and have little opportunity to integrate themselves in a community that share the same priorities as them.
The discussion around poverty can lead to further acts of inequality and social exclusion amongst people as well as the limitations that people face in their life. Fulcher and Scott (2004: 645-647), outline that the measurement and the classification of poverty is actually a matter that is difficult to both identify and measure due to the changing attitudes/beliefs that people have over time regarding this matter. This idea of trying to map the areas of high levels of poverty dates back was done previously by Townsend (1979), where they highlighted that areas of people living in poverty tended to be confined to urban areas of the cities and within the country. He later found that many people, in particular children, living within these levels of poverty would miss out on many opportunities or were not given many opportunities. For instance, he highlighted that many people within these areas were limited to the areas that they could visit in terms of a holiday and were even limited to the amount of uninterrupted leisur
e time that they could have. However, one of most influential types of poverty around in contemporary society is around the issue of food poverty, where it was identified that within the UK there are 4.7 million people that are living within food poverty. The social divisions amongst people facing food poverty has implications on their life chances as they might choose to have a cheap and small meal in order to afford the money to have access to other resources like heating. Referring back to the concept of intersectionality, the sense of food poverty seems to highlight the limitations that single, working-class mothers face when it comes towards the opportunity to have a nutritious meal (Garthwaite 2016: 115). A mother from a working-class background facing food poverty would often limit the opportunity that they would have for food in order for her children to acquire a meal. This can often cause wider health implications for herself as she would not be gaining enough nutrients in her daily life but for her this would be a necessity as it meant that her children could eat. Alongside this she comes from a working-class background this could limit the opportunity to gain enough money to obtain a healthy, nutritional meal as she might have to prioritise buying cheap food in order to eat over potentially not having enough money in order to pay for the gas and electricity that keeps them warm.
Overall, social divisions do relate and often influence the chances that people would receive within society. Going back to the argument of social class, many people from a working-class background would often be confined into low skilled manual labour jobs, unlike those from a middle-class background as they would often be in high position jobs such as managerial positions as they would often have the means, resources and opportunities in their life to gain the skills to place themselves in the highly paid roles. This is a result of the social division as the people in the working-class division would not be able to afford or have the contacts in order to have these same life chances from society. The argument shows that many of the social divisions in society like social class, ethnicity, gender and many more not only relates to the way people interact with each other but have larger implications on how life chances occur for individuals’. In addition to this the intersectionality of social divisions relate to an individuals’ life chances as each of the divisions interact with each other to create the perceptions and actions that the rest of society conduct towards people that are classified within multiple social divisions.
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