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Social Structure and Its Effect On Our Lives Essay

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Social Structure and Its Effect On Our Lives


Social structures are constraints that affect the lives of both the affluent and the indigent members of society.  Each society has its own set of social arrangements for example; class, gender and ethnicity are all constraints that each society has to deal with in one way or another.  One of the most fundamental of the social structures would be class.  Class structure is found in all societies and is the key source of economical inequality.  Members of different class groups start their lives with unequal opportunities.  This means that when someone is born into a poor household   they will undoubtedly remain in the same economical situation they began in.  Gender is another important issue when regarding structures.  For years women have struggled to be accepted into the workforce and although there have been many improvements on the treatment of female employees there is still a long way to go to reach equal opportunities.  Ethnicity has a strong bearing on what we can achieve in life by greatly affecting our place in the labour market.  Although Australia is a multicultural society life chances for Australia's own migrants are still less than adequate when it comes to being treated fairly in the workforce.

Social structure is created by the distribution of wealth, power and prestige.  The social structure consists of taken for granted beliefs about the world and both constrain and regulate human actions.  The social structure consists of substructures such as class, gender and ethnicity.  These groups are formed within society; each group shares common attitudes, values, social norms, lifestyle and material goods.  People within society stay within the guidelines of the soc...


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...s and Gender in Australia, George Allen & Unwin, Noth Sydney.

Broom, D., 1988, `Gender and Health', in Second Opinion: An Introduction to Health Sociology, ed.J. Germov, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Cohen, Y. A., 1961, Social Structure and Personality. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.

Graetz, B. & McAllister, I. 1994, Dimensions of Australian Society, 2nd edn, Macmillan Education, South Melbourne.

Jones, F.L., 1993, `Unlucky Australians: Labour market outcomes among Aboriginal Australians', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 16, no. 3.

McGregor, C., 1989, `Class', in Four Dimensional Social Space, eds T. Jatenburg & P.D'Alton, Harper & Row, Sydney

Wesolowski, W., 1979, Classes, Strata and Power. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London

Van Krieken, R., et al. 2000, Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest.


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