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Sociology & Ireland Essay

In Ireland, one’s position in the social class hierarchy tremendously affects their life chances. The probability of one being able to access opportunities that would increase their quality of life is determined by their social status. The opportunities which are required for one to improve their quality of life include food, healthcare, a good education; shelter and clothing all require one to be in a good financial position in order for them to be accessed.

Ones quality of life however does not just mean having access to the mentioned societal resources, it also involves one having the ability to purchase and goods or procures them, having a stable income through employments where employment refers to one having a career of their choice that gives them satisfaction (Bilton et al, 2002). Good quality of life implies that one is able to satisfy all their needs and those of their families comfortably. Other aspects of quality life are not being vulnerable to crime, being mentally and physically healthy and elimination chances of poverty in ones life.

In Ireland and the world as a whole, life chances of individual’s are basically affected by their position in the social class hierarchy. The social hierarchies can either be in terms of politics or wealth. Either way the effect on one to get access to the mentioned opportunities that improve quality of life is the same. Individuals at the top of these hierarchies have the capability of getting a good education and access to good healthcare services.

This implies that they are able to remain healthy and pursue their careers as they have all the required resources at their deposit. Ireland is characterized by high levels of youth unemployment (Tovey & Share, 2003). Individuals ranked high in the social hierarchy however have no problems with unemployment cases. This is attributed to the fact that they always have influence that is either political or financial. They use this influence to get jobs for themselves or for their f families in almost any field of profession they choose to.

The high rates of unemployment worldwide and especially in third world countries are sometimes due to lack of adequate education, individuals ranked high in social class hierarchy however do not experience such problems as they have access and can afford all the education they would wish to have. Ireland is also characterized by cases of psychological distress among most of the middle and low class individuals as they find it hard to get employment in spite of their education (Tovey & Share, 2003).

Employment in Ireland has been greatly politicised making it possible only for those who have influence to be able to get employment for themselves or family. The lack of control over employment by those ranked low in the social hierarchy has caused them to develop stress as they are not able to meet their needs. This has increased levels of poverty in the country amongst individuals occupying the middle and low positions of the social hierarchy.

In Ireland, ones chance of life depend ion the connections they have with those ranked high in the social hierarchy, their family wealth, land or business, and if one is employed. In the event that one has none of the above then they have no chances of improving their quality of life. One’s position in the social hierarchy also affects chances of life globally. This is evident from the status of citizens in different countries. Countries that are wealthy are more developed and have their citizens leading better quality of life as they access to education, healthcare, shelter and food (Bilton et al.

, 2002). There also are more employment opportunities in these countries as compared to the poor ones. Third world countries which are not as wealthy as the developed countries however are characterized by their citizens living low quality of life. Evidence is from the fact that individuals from these countries have no access to good education and healthcare. These countries are also characterized by cases of starvation, lack of employment opportunities, poor shelter and high rates of crime.

The fact that they are low in the global social hierarchy does make it impossible for their citizens to improve their quality of life. It can therefore be concluded that one’s position in the social hierarchy heavily determines their life chances as the probability of them accessing the opportunities that improve the quality of life if they is greatly affected by their social status. The higher their position in the hierarchy the easier it is to access the opportunities. Word count: 750 References Bilton, T. et al (2002). Introductory Sociology, 4th edition. London: Palgrave


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