Person’s Location in Social Structure

Modern society, especially in developed countries, provides numerous opportunities for mobility; still, social location retains influence. Its main markers are race, gender, and socioeconomic status. While the latter is changeable, the first two most often remain unchanged during a person’s life. Therefore, social location is determined from birth and subsequently forms one’s life trajectory, opening or closing access to social benefits, and influencing his or her perception of the world.

One of the essential things influenced by people’s social location is their education. As Barkan (2017) notes, America, being the wealthiest country in the world, still maintains high inequality in the sphere of education. While gender has a lesser impact on educational opportunities, family income, and race maintain their influence. A white person from a wealthy or middle-class family has more chances to enroll in college (Barkan, 2017). Consequently, a good education allows him or her to get a good job. This is not only about the quality of education itself but also the networks created in college.

Besides, the social location markers mentioned above can influence the probability of having a family. Barkan (2017) suggests that race and ethnicity affect family resilience. For instance, Latino and African American families are more likely to be one-parent than white families. Moreover, people with higher education are somewhat less prone to divorce than people with a school education (Barkan, 2017). Consequently, a person’s socioeconomic status, influencing one’s access to college, can indirectly affect his or her marital status. Above are just some of the patterns that show that, despite all the measures taken to reduce discrimination, it is hardly possible to eliminate it. Social location markers will continue to retain their direct and indirect influence on people’s life trajectories, even in developed societies that open numerous opportunities for mobility.

Reference

Barkan, S. E. (2017). Social problems: Continuity and change. University of Minnesota Press

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