Remember it & Test it!

Remember it & Test it!

Three approaches to social class

Functionalist: highest social classes bring highest rewards. The system is meritocratic.

Marxism:conflict between the wealthy owners and the working classes.

Max Weber: Four classes with different life chances.

Measuring social class

Formally used the Registrar General’s scale, now we use the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC).

Most at risk of living in poverty

People with few or no qualifications; families with young children; single pensioners; lone-parent households; households containing unemployed adults; Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage households; more women than men fall into this group.

What causes poverty?

The individual is to blame: A culture of poverty (people being socialised into poverty); an ‘underclass’ who have developed a welfare dependency; the cycle of deprivation – locking future generations into the cycle


Society is to blame:Inadequate welfare system; the bourgeoisie will always create an underclass.


Test It!

      1. What do sociologists mean by social stratification?
      2. How might a sociologist classify an individual’s social class and why might this method be inaccurate?
      3. Describe two ways in which the poor experience a lower level of life chances than the rest of society.
      4. How can a person become upwardly socially mobile and why might this be difficult to achieve for some social groups in Britain today?
      5. Identify one way in which governments have attempted to end gender discrimination in the workplace and identify why this policy might not have been successful.
      6. Identify one reason why people find themselves in poverty and identify why it might be difficult for them to get out of this situation.
      7. To what extent would sociologists agree that children born into poverty will grow up to be poor throughout their lives?
      8. Discuss how far sociologists would agree that the growth of an underclass has led to an increasing number of social problems in Britain today.


Some top tips!

  1. Print out the Test It! Questions – it will allow you to replicate exam conditions and also allows you to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen whilst doing your crucial revision.
  2. Make a copy of the Remember It! Section and put in a place that you often look at. i.e. front of a journal, next to a mirror, on a kitchen cupboard door, etc. That way you can do some cheeky sociology revision whilst doing those things you have to do!