How do you rate your chances of a good life in this society?

How do you rate your chances of a good life in this society? You might think that you can do anything in life if you work hard enough, and there’s a good chance that you can (you made it to university after all!) However, have you considered how the structures of our society might enable or constrain your chances? Or those of the people around you? Social structures include norms of culture, gender, race, class, ethnicity, age; policies and legal frameworks; and the operation of big, bureaucratic institutions like the government and corporations, and big systems like global political, financial, and technological systems and networks. We call these things structures because they are quite solid (they persist over time), they work in fairly systematic (structured) ways, and because they ‘structure’ our lives. They constrain what we can do, and they shape who we become.

Take a few examples. In Australia, the way that family, care and work life is structured means that full-time working women on average earn 17.9% (or $284 per week) less than similar men, and the way that indigenous health, education, housing and government support are structured mean that even in 2015, non-indigenous people are likely to live ten years longer than indigenous people. Internationally, the way colonial history and modern global finance are structured mean that the richest 1% of people in the world receive 14% of its income, while the poorest 20% receive 1% of its income. This is not just a failure of government policy. Social structures incorporate social, cultural, political and economic aspects that entrench inequalities over time and space.

The recent best-selling ‘Capital in the Twenty First Century’ by Thomas Pickety argues that rising inequality both between and within countries is inevitable in modern capitalist society. Labor MP and former Economics Professor Andrew Leigh points out that Australia has certainly seen inequality rising again, after falling in the post-war period, and research released last week by UOW economists shows that inter-generational mobility in Australia is not nearly as good as we thought it was. Inequality and the division between rich and poor seems to be a core structural feature of modern societies and economies – something pointed out by Karl Marx over 150 years ago – and it means that you are likely to prosper more quickly if you are born with resources, and less quickly (or not at all) if you are not.

So how will these social structures affect you? How will they affect others? What can you do as an individual to change them? What can we do together, collectively, to change them? Can we shape the structures of our society to serve us instead of the market, or instead of the entrenched interests of the powers that be?

#S103UOW16 #Tut2

Posted in SOC103 - Introduction to Sociology, Tutorial 2, UOW.

74 Comments

  1. Can I just point out that I think society has placed such a great emphasis that living a good life includes such things that you have mentioned in your post including working hard, earning lots of money, and fulfilling a high life expectancy.

    While I do agree with this to a certain extent, I think people often forget that a good life means doing the things that you enjoy. Of course I want to have a good job and live for a long time. But, and this is brutally honest, none of that will really matter to me if i am one day lying on my death bed, surrounded by no one and with no memories of adventure, friends and joy.

    Everyone has a different perception of what is a ‘good life’, and what I mentioned in the previous paragraph is my opinion.

    However, I do agree that where there are obviously parts of society where there are certain religious/racial/cultural peoples that may not feel that they are equal to other peoples in society, action must be taken so that these peoples are able to have the opportunity to lead a good life.

    I will also make a point here that I am in no way intending to racist or condone violence. But, in some instances, such as in countries with extremist religious or cultural practices being norms that, say, white Western society’s idea of a ‘good life’ is extremely different to others idea of a ‘good life’ based on the social norms that dominate in other societies. This is also often forgotten, or not realised and I feel is an important point to raise.

  2. Without structure within our daily life and routine our ‘definition’ of society would be very different, if we didn’t have guidelines to obey, we wouldn’t be living the lifestyle we do now, culture, gender, race, age, class are all things within society now that have cause big discussions, individuals still judge apon all of these things even though there is so many structures implemented to stop the racism, sexism and bullying, imagine if you were allowed to put people down and it wasn’t wrong ? What would our world be like ?

    Why do women earn less ? Why do indigenous get to have a shorter life spand ? These are all things that need to be discussed, everyone has to do their part in ensuring that everyone has the ability to endure a equal life, of course there is many organisations that help the ones in need, but the small percentage of the people helping is outweighed by the large amount knocking them back down, we live in a free world where people protest their rights, yet nothing has been resolved and women still earn less and the richest get more than the poor.
    Abby dominello @97abbydom
    Everyone says the more unfortunate have the ability to make it too the top of they really want to? But as much as we all want to think us Australians don’t discriminate and judge (not pointed at everyone) but a lot do, and make it virtually impossible for anyone not in their circle of wealthiness to do anything.

    I believe that everyone has to see the bigger picture and stop being so oblivious or turn the blind eye and make a change, actions speak louder than words. It should be more encouraged to learn about all these hidden and glorified topics so that the more educated people there are the more there will be to try fight for true equality

  3. This is very dependent on many factors, both internal personal influences and external environments factors. Even though I am a part of the same ‘society’ that my colleagues here at University are, we all have different perspectives and ideals on what goes on in our worlds. For example if we were all to be running late for class one morning we would all have different reasons and different reactions as to why, how and when. We are all products of our environment and the way the world is structured however we all act and react to this in our own unique ways.
    I find it very unfortunate that in our modern world there are statistics as those above that show the evidence in inequality amongst gender, race and social status but I also acknowledge that there is a lot of history around these statistics and to get a broader understanding we would have to look at how far we have come as a society and maybe ask why we have ended up with statistics like full-time working women on average earn 17.9% (or $284 per week) less than similar men, and how the powers at be, have arranged social influences and structures in order to achieve this
    I cannot change the way each individual thinks, but I can change myself and I can learn in order to grow and understand what the reality is, and what the media portrays the reality to be. I believe that yes there are social structures that influence and affect who I am and the choices I make. Being aware of this is a step in the right direction and could even help to educate others in time. The Society powers to be that influence our structures are not going to be easy to expose and I would be naive to think that I could change something like that in my life time. History has proven though, that over time through collective awareness people can really make a change and an influence, and this is enough for me to continue my own journey for truth, knowledge and understanding. So I guess my chances of a good life are pretty high, but that’s just my perspective at current!
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Beg

  4. Our society is heavily based around social structures. Australia is one of the least class conscious societies in the world. The social structure in Australia is therefore rarely discussed as it does not affect the majority of people. However in some developing countries such as India, social structure is at the forefront of their society and daily living.

    Social class is an example of social structure and holds significant importance within society. An individual’s social class determines the access they have to resources and it also influences human behaviour. For example a child born into a wealthy family would have a lot more opportunities and potentially a longer life expectancy than a child born into a poor family. Basic health and education systems may only be available to individuals born into a particular social class within the social structure of society.
    Social Structure has little impact on my life, as I, along with the majority of Australians are in the middle class of society, with access to all necessities and health and support systems. However someone my age living in America may not have the same opportunities as me, depending on the social structure they live in.

    One way to reduce inequality within the social structure of society is to eradicate the class system. Collectively individuals within society need to come together and promote equality amongst all people and not discriminate based on race etc. Higher educational levels also change society; therefore we need to encourage and promote education as a tool to break away from class systems, closing the gap on inequality especially between men and women and indigenous and non-indigenous individuals.

    Having said this society would not function without some sort of class system, however we need to reduce the stratification of society to the minimum workable levels.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #FRI1030

  5. I wasn’t sure what direction to go with this response, hope this sounds okay and makes sense.
    I think in most examples, the words ‘social structure’ have many negative conations associated with them. This is completely understandable, as they can be blamed as the reason for many disadvantages and inequitable situations that exist in our world today, such as women earning less etc. As much as that is an issue that needs to be discussed, social structures are responsible for a lot of the good things that make our society what it is.
    For example, without social structures, guidelines regarding how to behave and what is socially acceptable would be very different. It is most likely that positive relationships between educators and students would be almost non-existent like it used to be. There would be no reasons for us not to send our kid to work at nine years old. Social structures do reflect the changes society has undergone regarding beliefs and moralities. And these social changes have in fact led to longer life spans and the development of technology and other ways of life that improve our quality of life.
    I like to believe that these social structures will affect me positively, as well as all of society. We are living longer and healthier now due to these changes, and although there are still many flaws in our system, very few, if any, races or cultures are living worse off than they were 100 years ago. I don’t want to be misinterpreted as saying our world is perfect and everyone should be grateful, as that is far from the truth, but I do believe social structures have influenced us just as much positively as they have negatively.
    As far as changing and influencing these social structures as an individual, as simple minded as this might sound, I can’t see how as an individual you can influence social structure. However I can understand that social structures have, and there is a chance they will eventually again, change. But I believe this will be more due to any changes in values and morals, or further advances in technology etc.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Wed1730

  6. We are all restricted by society’s social structures; some more than others. The idea of what is a good life is individually measured from varied views, believes, and life experiences. Society’s high income earners may base their happiness on employment and money, however the lower income group may look towards their family for fulfilment. It takes a special personality to break a restrictive cycle of which many are born into. With self love, and reality in mind, a person can calculate the realities of their situation. Viewing it from the bigger picture, and realise that small steps are better than none. People can’t afford to think that they are capable of radicalising issues that have been part of Australia since colonisation. Although continuing to focus on key issues of topics, such as Abouriginal health, can progress the quality of life for the indigenous culture. Which also promotes and recognises their rights within our society. It has been a slow process, but many issues are making progress.

  7. Chances of a good life in this society are relatively high although if you grow up with disadvantage your chances of up-ward intergenerational mobility are diminished without access to social, financial and moral support. Our social structure provides us with many opportunities; education, law and order, healthcare and democratic governance which can become even more inaccessible to the disadvantaged as prospects of upward mobility and positive social function coincide with accessibility of economy.
    As pointed out in the textbook by Macionis & Plummer,
    “Poverty remains a serious problem in industrial societies, but compared to the situation a century ago, the standard of living has risen fivefold, and economic, social and political inequality has declined.” Macionis,J.J. & Plummer,K. (2012). Sociology, A Global Introduction, Prentice Hall, Essex, England. p.114

    During my lifetime the structure of our society has shaped my life greatly coming from a working class lineage the expectation that a higher education and an academic career were never contemplated as it “would be wasted on a mere female as I was only going to get married and have babies,” my father informed me in 1979 when he refused to pay my school fees for year 11. Fortunately, the education I had received from State School was first class and I have tried to take every opportunity since to gain a higher education and be a positive functioning part of our society.

  8. Chances of good life in this society rests on a number of contributing factors. Without financial support you can not get very far. In our world, good education, health and strong support leads to a good chance at life, always having a supportive lifestyle helps better chances of good life. Without social structure there is not much chance of a better life as social structures drive a good life. I believe having a say in life drives a better life as you get a say in it and choose what you want to do.

    #s103UOW16 #Tut2 #Wed1730

  9. what is a good life? A good life is described differently by everyone, depending on things such as age, culture and even social media. We are constantly comparing our lives to the lives of other and it can decrease our happiness due to the constant comparisons to people who seem to have a great life without considering what goes on in their personal life and what the negatives may be. sometimes those who seem to have the ideal material based life are the unhappiest. I believe a good life is primarily based on the way we see ourselves in the world and the way we see the world. If it were negative that overall life would be a negative experience.

  10. To discuss the possibility an individuals chance of living a ‘good life’, we must first establish what a ‘good life’ consists of.
    For me, a good life would be a life in which I can look back on and be proud of who I was and what I did with the opportunities that were available to me. In this regard, social structures can have a very little influence on how I can live my life to the fullest of my potential.
    Obviously if a good life is defined by success and money, social structures are going to restrict ones ability to live this idea of a good life.
    In Australia, there are enough opportunities for even the most socioeconomically disadvantaged people to achieve success and to live a life that they wish to live.
    With Australia’s public school system proving to be just as academically successful as some of Australia’s top private schools there are plenty of opportunities for any individual to succeed.
    In my opinion, I believe that there is a very good chance that I will live a good life, this is because I can take advantage of the opportunities given to me and I can be proud of who I am as a person.

  11. 
‘Inequality and the division between rich and poor seems to be a core structural feature of modern societies and economies – something pointed out by Karl Marx over 150 years ago – and it means that you are likely to prosper more quickly if you are born with resources, and less quickly (or not at all) if you are not.’

    

I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. As an American, I feel that I have a different take on social structures and inequality than most Australians. I believe that having a good life in society is far more attainable here in Australia than it is back home, and that’s because wealth gaps and the strive for success is much more visible in the states. I have seen the wealthiest of wealthy living side by side with thousands of homeless. There is such a prevalent gap that it’s difficult to justify what actually makes a ‘standard’ of living. 

There’s not much we as society can do to change social structures.

    We live in a capitalistic society (both as Australians and Americans) and as long as that is the case, there is always going to be wealth gaps, and social structures that divide society.

  12. Chances are that I wanted to pursue further studies because in our modern society degree, university and career are all words associated with good income, prestige and therefore a good life. Good life per se means different things to different people, all depends on who you ask to and what society this person belongs to. Of course, career, income(the wage, we all work to earn) are all a product of what humankind has done in the past centuries. Good life is simply the result of all the things aforementioned. We label and define things for what they should be and try to stick to that concept. If we were to think sociologically we would have to look at the strange in the familiar and try to re-imagine what a good life would be. All the choices we make were once dictated by needs now this has changed, we still make choices based on our needs however, our needs have changed. And even if we think that these new needs are a consequence of our own decision making, it all comes down to where you live, who you hang out with and your wealth. Therefore external forces drive our choices, from the grocery we purchase to what we think and do. Once upon a time society was under our control, nowadays society controls us. As Emile Durkheim said, “society has the power to shape our thoughts and actions”. To conclude, society include a lo of things, and the beauty of it is that we are all part of it. Society as we know it today is a product of our evolution, weather we like it or not. As creators we can change it by being conscious of others even it means to consider the entire world.

  13. Without structure in our society I believe the society wouldn’t exist. In Australia alone we have May social constructs that ensure that each person can indentify with the people around them. I feel that without these social structures and preset ideas about what it means to be who we are, are what creates stability. I agree completely with Karl Marxs theory that in order to have change we as a society must also have conflict. Without this conflict there is no reason to have change in society. At the same time the president that is set from out births as to our race, gender, religious beliefs etc. are what places us in the position to have conflict.

  14. I personally believe that within today’s social structure, the concept of “living a good life” seems to always have ties back to the understanding and false belief that money makes you happy. Within the societal view, having more and buying more expensive items in comparison to your friends and neighbors is meant to signify a “happier and more fulfilled life” when the reality of the fact is that a happy life comes from within and what makes you as a person feel complete. Yes having a good job and money is a very helpful resource to attain this happy life yet it’s not required, every person is unique and so their ideal life is different as well. Society as a whole has evolved to the point that money is everything and personally I believe this has warped and altered the fundamental point of living and what makes a “happy life”
    #S103UOW16 #tut2 #tues1130

  15. Social structures among a society are highly influenced by the way in which the people whom belong to that society perceive factors in life and the people in which surround them. This idea stems highly from the idea that upper class social structures rely heavily on the promotion of financial status and way of life compared with lower class social structures where emphasis is placed on family, work and the envy of the upper class. This shows the divide in what different classes preserve as a ‘positive and happy way of life’, but this then again ties them together that the rich promote their wealth and the poor envy the rich for the wealth meaning that both see money as a significant factor towards a happy life.

    Social structures from a very young age shape us as people somethings as simple as from the day we are poor men are perceived as more superior then women and that social divide can be placed on you simply by the place you where born although you have no immediate control over this what so ever, as we grow though we can in some slight was begin to change the perceptions and ideas of social structures and inequality. By people simply ignoring stereotypes placed on gender and culture swell as religion works as a great means for the beginning of ending inequality.

    I personally feel as long as people continue to give into the ideas sowed upon inequality and accept that social inequality is okay, this divide will always exist.

    #SOC103 #TUT2 #tue1230b

  16. Australia has a longstanding continuity of inequality that dictates the chances of a “happy life”, take women for an example. It’s been 122 years since women were first allowed to vote, 54 years since aboriginal women were given the vote, 31 years since the first National Conference on Domestic Violence, 16 years since the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act as established and 6 years since the first female prime minister. And yet the façade that women are equal is counteracted in that women still earn on average 17.9% less than men, as stated above.

    Marx’s theory of conflict is the foreground for which such change for women has occurred, but has not yet made an equal ground for both genders. By rejecting such social structures, with social justice movements like international women’s day and white ribbon, the attitudes towards equality for women is changing and in turn, allowing for a better quality of life with equal rights and opportunities.

    There are many economic, social and cultural factors that dictate our happiness and chances at a ‘good life’. Social structures such as employment and income are detrimental to the quality of life we have, although many factors come into play, we live in a mainly capitalist society where without a subsequent income we cannot afford the necessities of life. Every individual is restricted by social structures, some are affected more than others, but I hope that all groups in society can break down the barriers so we live for more than money.

    #SOC103 #TUT2 #Tues1230

  17. Social structures are apart of everyday life. without them we would feel no sense of belonging. Social structures are where we can feel apart of something. However there are many social structures that the majority of people perceive as threatening or “not normal”. The people in these social structures then have a less chance of “a good life” as the majority of the population looks at them in a negative light. We should stop viewing particular structures in this light so that everyone has the same chance at “a good life”.

  18. From birth social structures affects the way we are going to pursue our lives, we are born into all different social structures whether it be cultural, upper class or lower class, ethnicity ect.
    The question is what are our chances of a good life? well I believe that is up to us as individuals, not everyone see’s a good life in the same way, some may think money brings a good life where others may see it as being surrounded with support and a loving family and this will vary with age also.
    The structures of our society can certainly constrain our chances of a good life because we have to sometimes abide by the rules whether it be policies, legal frameworks ect, But together we can make change through lobbying, protesting and especially social media.
    Shaping the structures come’s down to meeting like minded people who feel the same passion about changing some aspects of society, whether it be a bunch of independent woman lobbying to get equal pay to men, or Indigenous people and advocates fighting for better health, education and housing.
    In conclusion to my opinion talking about shaping society to serve “us” is a hard concept for me to grasp because everyone has different needs, I think we should throw equality out the window and focus on equity looking at everyone individually.
    #SOC103 #TUT2 #FRI0930

  19. Inequality is inherent in many social structures.
    I think that for certain groups in society, such as the examples you mention; indigenous, women, those in labouring jobs, inequality through social structures is amplified. In fact, as social structures usually tend to be designed to function best for a generalised social ‘norm’ then it follows that those on the fringes or furthest removed from the ‘norm’, or social ‘average’, would experience greater inequality due to those structures.
    As well as those at the edges of societal norms being more greatly effected by inequality, those physically separated from larger social groups by distance also experience an increase in inequality. Take for example disparities in health access between major cities and remote and rural Australia. Of course life expectancy will be shorter in communities living away from first response medical care. This is also relevant for non indigenous people in these areas. There is an over-representation of Indigenous populations in rural and remote areas. bit.ly/1U2KMZd

    http://bit.ly/1V84nGq states that “Residents of rural and remote communities experience poorer health outcomes and exhibit higher health need (AIHW, 2008a, 2008b). Health workforce shortages and maldistribution (Productivity Commission, 2005) and higher out-of-pocket expenses are particular barriers, especially in more remote areas (AIHW, 2005; AIHW 2008a). The proportion of Indigenous people increases with increasing remoteness.”
    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 21% of the Indigenous population live in remote and very remote areas, while just 1.7% of the non indigenous population live in those areas. bit.ly/1RstCQf

    30% of the population of the northern territory are indigenous so accordingly health outcomes will be statistically higher for the indigenous population. bit.ly/1M3G3Ue
    Clearly just being born in a large city in Australia confers health benefits, a large contributing factor to a good life, over those people born in remote or rural communities.

    With our population gravitating to the cities even more, these structures in society and the disparities they lead to will grow even larger. bit.ly/1QZdHaw
    What can be done to remedy the situation? Clearly Australia is a large land with many resources and untapped areas for population. Decentralisation would most likely help improve resources in rural and remote areas but would need a concerted push through Government policy to make large changes.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1630

  20. We as individuals living within society, combine to form the social structures that exist and shape our lives. The structures within society have improved quite significantly over the years. For example, societal structures have provided opportunities for the various and diverse individuals around the world, in particular women. Women throughout the world are openly allowed to join the workforce, however there is still a present divide in relation to income and how much women earn in comparison to men. This shows that there is still quite a long way to go in bringing about equality in every aspect of our daily lives.
    Society is based on the views and opinions of the individuals within society. Due to the conflicting views that exist, it results in a divided society and can influence people negatively. In order to make a change within society, all individuals need to work for the common good, in order to ensure equality for all. In forming a united front and fighting towards a greater society, everyone may be seen as equal, with equal rights and opportunities. Society shouldn’t be based on the idea of ‘every man for himself’, that if an individual works hard enough they will succeed independently. It should be based on the idea that if everyone within society works together and collectively, binding everyone’s thoughts and opinions, a greater change will come resulting in a stronger, more effective society. This would allow everyone to succeed and be equal.
    #soc103uow16 #tut2 #wed1930

  21. Unfortunately not just in today’s society but in the past there has always been segregation between the rich and the poor, people believing you should only associate with people of the same wealth which is influenced by social constructs and norms.

    Another example of the effects of social constructs is the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been treated by the Australian government and people. People wonder why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are generally behind non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people when it comes to health and education in particular. This is due to the way society creates stereotypes and expectations of social minorities and there is rarely any support for those minorities to achieve higher.

    Ultimately everyone has their own perspective of what makes them happy and how they live their lives that is the beauty of living in this country. You see more in today’s society people breaking the stereotypes and barriers to improve their way of life.
    Personally I cannot change society’s views on the social constructs of life as each individual has their own personal views depending on their upbringing and way of life. However I can keep informed and advocate for the minority as I have personal experience of being that minority.

    I strongly believe that it is not always the smartest and the wealthiest people that are successful in life but it can actually be the complete opposite.

    #S103UOW16#Tut2#Tue1830

  22. My chance of a good life in this society is very much possible. Its not a given, but if you put your mind to achieving a particular vision , or set yourself short , medium and long term goals and take the action to achieve them , then you have a better chance of a achieving a good life. Society’s social structures do affect all of us , However everyone has different ideas and beliefs about what can make them happy and what makes up a good life. I don’t agree completely with the view of Karl Marx as what you achieve depends on how you use and approach the resources you have at your disposal.

  23. I think about how the structures of society will affect me and my friends and family all the time. We live in a very individualistic society, most people are out to prosper for themselves. This is easily seen when you look at the structures we have in society, as you said we live in a capitalist society. That is ultimately run by corporations, often government backed (how’s that for a kick in the teeth?).

    I feel the only way to get past this is through education, teaching people to be more collective over individualistic. Not that there’s anything wrong with being individualistic, I think it’s healthy to have your own identity/autonomy and goals. However, we need to promote the idea that we need each other to prosper rather then the idea that others are just tools for a way to get up in life. We are naturally a social species in almost everything we do, newborns can even die without human touch and interaction when they are that young. It seems laughable to think that our structures in society shouldn’t reflect the fact that we are sociable and need each other to prosper. Sadly, that’s the direction things are going.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #WED1730

  24. What is a good life? The definition of a ‘good life’ changes from person to person. Each person in the world has an idealism of his or her representation of a good life. Personally I believe that anyone can do anything if they set their mind to a task. Mental motivation is the strongest key to ones success. But unfortunately, the world we live in today, it is tough for those less fortunate to have the mental motivation and truly believe they can succeed in life and their dreams. The constant bullying and judgment from those higher up, can cloud ones chance for a good life and change their opinion of society.
    The structures set in our society have categorically shaped the way our lives operate to our surroundings. Variations to ones life can enable or constrain ones chances to fully succeed in their chosen way of life. For many, a good education, well-off job, and a healthy family can be considered a dream and the ideal structure for ones society. Culture, race, gender, class, ethnicity and age are all considered as social structure norms. If we didn’t have these ‘norms’ how different would our lives be? For example, for many years now, women have earned less than men when doing the same work. Why does gender play a role in the way we see our norms of society? Our world and social structure need to change to further ensure equality and break the ‘norms’ of society to benefit everyone.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #tues0830

  25. Social structures are part of ones everyday life. They shape our society, allow us to complete certain things and restrict us from participating in other things. Social structures include various norms of culture, gender, race, class, ethnicity and age. It also includes institutions like the government, companies and global political, financial and technological systems and networks. These “structures” allow us to shape who we become, what we do, who we interact with and where we end up. There are various examples in our global society, which emphasise that societal structures really impact chances and eligibility for individuals across the country. For example, women across the globe are now encouraged to join the workforce in any job they feel they may undertake. Nevertheless, the inequality of pay ratios is still present and emphasises the need that change and equality is needed to be put into action to provide women with a fair and equal pay rate the same as men. Theorist Karl Marx, however, pointed out that the division between rich and poor is a core structural feature of society and the economy, emphasising that conflict occurs across all individuals who may be less fortunate than others. Unfortunately, this inequality continues in our society.

    #S103UOW16 AND #tut1 AND #wed830

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  26. The first question that must be raised when discussing this specific topic, is, what is the definition of a ‘good life’? Yes, there are many ‘structures’ in society that are going to be obstacles for anyone in any social class, but I believe that personal attributes such as positive attitude, determination, good work-ethic and the continual desire to self-improve, are really what it comes down to when discussing success, and a ‘good life’, whatever your definition of it may be.

    Social structures such as laws within the Australian community affect my life daily, as they do to all of us. Whilst originally put in place to supposedly benefit us, there are many questions as to how, why and what they are doing to do so. For example, parking fines; whilst supposedly attempting to incorporate more safety into our society, it seems as though individuals are complaining and questioning these laws rather than agreeing with them. But it simply is a part of our social structure that must exist in order for the proper functioning of our society

    Social structure is always going to exist, and whilst I do believe it is an inevitable aspect of life, I strongly believe our attitude and actions towards the many parts of social structure truly determine how we live and what we project throughout our lives. As Emile Durkheim has said, “society has the power to shape our thoughts and actions”, I agree that it does have the power to do so, but positively or negatively is up to the individual. This is what is associated with our chances of living a ‘good life’, whether we take in and project positivity or negativity, embrace or deny opportunities and ultimately work with or against the social structure of our society. I don’t believe that our life is as a result of the social structure we are restricted to, but a result of our management and tactical cooperation of the social structures.

    #SOC103UOW16 #TUT2 #WED1330

  27. I believe, due to my upbringing that i can achieve a good life. Being an educated, middle class Australian I have confidence that I will reach my ambitions. However, social structures such as gender, race, class, ethnicity and age have a significant impact on someone’s ability to reach society’s expectations in “succeeding” in life. In a first world country such as Australia, the concept of a good life predominantly revolves around social class and wealth. However, some criticise the capitalist system, stating that it associates with social inequality and an unfair distribution of wealth, which i also agree with. This is especially portrayed within specific social structures such as gender (women earning on average 17.9% less then similar men), the indigenous (expected to live 10 years younger then non-indigenous) and also certain religions (islamophobia). These communites are discriminated against despite many efforts to create equality. This all reflects back on the capitalist system where the richest 1% of people in the world receive 14% of its income, while the poorest 20% receive 1%. Therefore, these social structures, as well as the governement and major corporations constrain the chances of specific individuals reaching their goals in life. It makes it especially hard for individuals who lack in resources to overcome major corporations and make a living. I believe we can overcome these issues with the support of leaders who are compassionate and accepting of all cultures, races, classes and ethnicities.

    #S103UOW16 #TUT2 #WED1530

  28. Most of us take the society we were born/raised in for granted, although society predominantly has a large control of who we are and who we may become, us as individuals can in turn shape these factors of ourselves.

    With social structure it can provide links to other individuals creating ties and the interaction that enables the function of society as a group. when i think of social structure and my own social group it allows me to see a bigger picture and gives meaning to day to day activities.

    The way the social structure affects myself and others at the end of the day falls upon opportunity, class, wealth as well as up bringing. Social structures include culture, gender, race, class, ethnicity and age can either have a sense of belonging or create neglect and disregard, so by using these classifications do we then create the social inequity within these groups of society?

    This begs the question of why do women earn less then similar men and why do the richest 1% of people in the world receive 14% of its income, while the poorest 20% receive 1% of its income.

    while its great thinking what can i do as an individual, it rests upon the fact of a collective group of individuals, working off each other generally to change or form society and social structures and what it means to have ‘a chance of a good life in society’.

    # S103UOW16#Tut2 # Wed830

  29. Only an individual can determine their chances of a good life due to the fact that everybody’s opinion of a good life is forever changing.
    To take into account an individual must look at their own beliefs, perspective, life experience as well as their geographic location and constraints around them. It is possible to have the same goals as one another but they will never will be the same. Society only generalises and stereotypes the most common chances of a good life to materialistic and consumerist developed countries. This is where the values and beliefs change with lower income developing countries where and individual can live a good life based on necessities rather then unnecessary items.
    But maybe that is just what society is telling us? Would we switch lives with someone in a developing country? Would they switch with us?

  30. Society’s structures impact us from the moment from we are born. That we are born with different skin colour, gender, wealth unfortunately increases barriers before we are even old enough to understand what they are.
    As a non indigenous male living in a first world country I have lived with the least amount of discrimination I think possible, whereas everybody else that doesn’t fall under this bracket still has some kind of limitation placed upon them from some belief from years and years ago.
    There seems to be some progress towards perceptions changing, and the more time goes on I believe more people will understand that these barriers just won’t be tolerated anymore. Changing society’s structure is a huge task, but I think the ground work has been laid down.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #wed1030

  31. What defines a good life? Is it how much money we have, what careers we choose? or the relationships we have with those around us? Defining a ‘good life’ can be done by society or by oneself, all depends on the outlook of the individual. Everyone wants to have a good life, although society challenges our ability to do so. A good life is attainable, but why do we make it hard for ourselves. It is believed in this society that to fit in one must do what is expected of society, this can include the way in which one behaves, dresses and their physical appearance. The pressure that is put on an individual b y society can significantly impact their chances of happiness and the feeling of belonging with an outcome of failure or exclusion from a group. The chances of a good life are not necessarily based on society, but how the individual interprets how they should be/ act. One can still achieve a good life regardless of society but must recognise what will genuinely increase their happiness and chances of obtaining a ‘good life’.

    The structures of society can hold an individual back from doing what they want. But the structures that are set in society are done by society its self such as the people that are all around us. Structures can include the social call of an individuals e.g. socioeconomic status, and even the occupation and individual has and how it is ranked in the community. These structures affect the health, education and wellbeing of an individual which as stated can impact someone in short and long term conditions.
    In todays society having ‘good life’ is mainly determined but the wealth of a person and whether or not they can afford the necessities in life that are not only needed but things that also enhance life, these are education, health, social concepts and security.

    Social structure can only have impact on a person if they allow it. the essentials in life include the basics of food, clothing and shelter, but the structures in society that are hoping an individuals perception of self an be change by their own thoughts and opinions. combining as one or even individual changing the trail of thought the ‘common’ structures in society can change and new structures can be adapted to help create and give people the chance for a good life.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 @charlotteh_m

  32. In this society, certain things determine whether you have a good life or not. For example, wealth, is a major factor that determines whether or not your life is good. Wealth determines where you live and how you live, and, unfortunately, these things have a major impact on your wellbeing and quality of life. Each individual is unfortunately limited by the structure of society. The class that you’re born into can be extremely hard to get out of, and if you’re born into a not so wealthy class, you’re given less opportunities to achieve success, and have a good life.
    #S103UOW16 #tut2 #thu1630

  33. The real question is what is a ‘good life’? If you simply look back at Australian history to the 1700’s during the time of invasion/settlement (depending on your view of this issue) Aboriginal peoples way of living wasn’t recognised as ‘living’ as such by the Europeans just because their way of living didn’t meet the standard of what was considered normal to the Europeans. There are still Indigenous people to this day that want to live like their ancestors, off the land, because that’s what they consider a good life to live. However, social structure does have a significant impact on the outcome of and individuals life, as mentioned before ‘non-indigenous people are likely to live ten years longer than indigenous people’. This fact alone is clear reflection on the impact of social structure. Additionally, depending on someone’s social status can have a significant impact on the life someone lives and the opportunities they are proposed with which can effect someone’s both in a negative way or positive depending on the situation and your positioning on the social ladder. However, it doesn’t mean that its inevitable to have a good life just because of your social status.
    #S103UOW16 #TUT2 #WED230 @Loftyxx

  34. There had always been social structure, it is the basis of how society operates. The structure of society affect individuals as before they know what they really want to do with their lives they are already been told what to do by there family, school, and even the governments. It is very rare that an individual would go against the social norms of working, buying a house, raising children as it goes against how the world operates. However individuals can have the power to change the way society works, they can go against society and form their own morals based on their beliefs. The problem however is if everyone decided to go by what they really wanted to do in this world, would the world become corrupt and not functional leading to major issues and devastation.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1530

  35. How do you rate your chances of a good life in this society? This question is individual and the answer of one may differ from another. Some people place high value on materialistic possessions like expensive cars, houses and jewellery whilst another may value family, personal connections and interactions with others. Individuals belong to categories which shape our behaviour. The social structures around us can definitely constrain individuals from venturing outside the social ‘norm’. Individuals tend to stay within the specific category e.g. culture as it’s comfortable. By conforming to society, this leaves little room for human growth and development therefore may decrease the chance of a good life in society.

    #S103UOW #Tut2 #Thur1630

  36. I find it extremely interesting and at time infuriating that “inequality and the division between rich and poor seems to be core structural feature of modern societies” – the more advances we make as modern societies – the more number of people starving and living under the poverty line…great! As an individual living in an “advanced” society,who has been lucky enough to never had to experience poverty, hunger and homelessness first hand, the idea of people living without a home, without food, without any basic structure to their life terrifies me. The website http://www.globalrichlist.com/ seriously made me take a step back considering when it said I’m in the top 1% by income. And yet by the standards set by “my society” – my family, my community, my colleagues, university, friends, old school teachers, acquaintances…etc – I am definitely nowhere near a successful individual yet and I’m expected to gain a lot more capital before I can be considered one. And it’s happening to heaps of us right? If we’re lucky enough to be given an education – it almost becomes our duty to obtain as much money as we can, to get a better home, a better car, a better “lifestyle”. At what point does society culturally give us a breather to take a step back, and think of the 20% living on 1% of our global income. Maybe to have a “good life” in this society we need to at times settle – settle on what we have now and being fortunate enough to have it. Maybe we need to settle on personal capital gain, to see the reality of those who could use it a little more. Maybe we’ll need to settle on whatever our idea is of the “good life” to even have a chance at having one.
    #S103UOW16 #TUT2 #WED1530

  37. The separation and division between the highest earning 1% of people and the lowest earning 1% of people is huge, and is only growing, with the more advanced society we are and the more we are earning, the more people are being pushed into poverty. Being rich and having a good long life can be a different perspective to different people. I believe that to be happy you have to want to succeed at doing what you love, which is different to every individual.I do believe that people who are born into a better life may have a better chance of succeeding, unless they take the opportunity for granted, and that people born into poverty have less of chance at a good life, unless they work extremely hard and are determined to change their life. Every individual has a different idea of what a good life is, and they need to decide what that may be for them, in order to live that good life

  38. Social structures has forced our society to go from one with equal opportunity for all to one where what your ancestors have done greatly influences your opportunities. Be that place of birth or acquired assets. Place of birth in this day and age can greatly determine how rich you are by and can influence how rich you are as easily as if what your parents have done.

    The connections with potential business partners that one can make through parents via the school you attend can have a great affect on status. Although that choice was not yours to make. Social structures affect me everyday but as it is not something we are (usually) consciously aware of they go unnoticed and have instead become part of our very being.

    Mostly these societal norms are entrenched due to the aforementioned reasons (family status/class) the only real way to reduce inequality in the world is for the affluent to change their minds about valuing money over community. To do this however the newest generation will need to go against years of ingrained teachings in order to enable others to claim some of this family wealth. Then there is the fact that giving money to someone does not help them value that money or even give them the skills to create and manage wealth. Maybe further technological advances will allow for this to happen but right now we are very much in a consumer frame of mind (latest iphone etc) and as with the increase of technology over the past 200 years, our humanity seems to get left behind furthering this inequality.

    #s103uow16 #wed630

  39. I actively try everyday to not let social structures entirely influence my own self. Of course, I pay attention to them, take them into consideration, but take and leave what I like and don’t like. I believe this can be difficult for some people who cannot necessarily pick and choose what they want, instead they throw themselves into one full structure and follow it precisely. I am a firm believer in having a diverse population within a society will have a great impact on the people who compose the society since there are multiple different mindsets throughout the group, and people have more opportunity to venture outside what they are used to. I think a big thing that can change people’s perception of social structure and it’s impact on them is traveling. Traveling to different parts of the country, world, etc. will change the way in which most people live by societal structure, and have them grow more of a personalized path through multiple structures.

  40. I believe we can all agree that social structures are an issue; however I don’t believe people are fully aware of the issues that arise from social structures. In Australia, the issues stemming from social structures are not impacted on Australia as a whole, therefore it not an issue discussed or deemed as important as it should be.

    Globally, social structure is an issue. It deters people from wanting to make a good life for themselves. Generally speaking, families who come from wealth tend to stay wealthy. Families who come from poverty tend to stay poverty stricken. In saying this, children born in a poverty stricken family are disadvantaged in comparison to children born in a wealthy family. Wealthy families tend to have higher life expectancy, greater access to higher education making it harder for those families who are poor to have the opportunity to change their situations.

    Personally, I have not be greatly affected by social structures but as a career driven woman, I find it discouraging knowing that men who could have the same qualifications and work experience as me will earn more income than what I will.

    In order to change to give everyone a higher and more equal chance of a good life, social structures need to change. I believe the world needs to become more equal and recognise the issues within social structures.

    #S103UOW16 #TUT2 #WED1730

  41. A good life has to be defined by each person. Some would say to live a good life you need to make a lot of money. Others would say you need to make strong, lasting connections to those around you. Some would even say that you simply need to enjoy the little things in life.

    The ways social structures will affect me will differ over time, and as an individual I can protest the inequality that plagues the modern capitalist society. How these structures affect other will inevitably vary from person to person. Collectively we can have a much larger impact on these structures, unions, rallies and protests are all viable ways to attempt to change the structures.

    We can definitely change the structures of our society, as we have before. Although this process may take a long time, and it is easy to sit back and think that we are powerless to do so, to accept our fate. This is not the right idea, and things will only get worse from this attitude.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #WED1930

  42. As a Caucasian female with a family that could provide a private education for myself I am within the higher social structures, meaning that I am not as affected by social constructs compared to Indigenous people or poorer families and individuals. As a woman I may experience cuts in wages due to inequality in the work force, but even with these cuts I am still not suffering as badly as m.any across Australia and the globe.

    Social structures affect many people throughout their lives, and due to inequality within race, gender and occupation, many people suffer terribly. Life spa, as discussed in the above statement, is ten years shorter for an indigenous person compared to a non-indigenous. This is one of the many structures tat cause people to suffer. Medical care is not well provided for those within a lower social class; which it is sadly, causing lives to be shorter and harder than need be.

    In order to change this society, equality in not only gender, but also culture and race needs to be addressed, which can be achieve with the presentation of such issues on social media, television or radio. By having groups such as HeforShe or World Vision, the different classes are able to view these problems and address them. With the aid of these groups and the social influences to guide us, the social structures that are present can be developed to serve our needs and the needs of all classes within society.
    #tut2 #S103UOW16 #Thu1630

  43. A ‘good life’ has different meanings to each individual person, whether it be to have equality for race and gender, economic status, culture, beliefs, happiness, family, friends, career, education, shelter, being content with ourselves and/or others. For me I feel that the ‘good life’ is being content with myself and having happiness within my life. An example of what most in today’s society believe that having a positive economic status is having wealth and power which helps individuals climb the global hierarchy this is spoken about by Thomas Piketty, he talks about his book “Capital in the Twenty-first Century,” he is talking about the inevitability of economic inequality in society and how people’s economic status determines their place in the global hierarchy. This means that people with a higher economic status are at the top of this hierarchy in comparison with people a lower economic status are in the lower part of the hierarchy. This links to how people reach the ‘good life’ everyone has a different definition of what the good life is whether it be having things such as wealth, power, education, family and friends it just depends on every individual. For me i think having the ‘good life’ would be having not only economic equality but equality for races, cultures, genders and beliefs would be living the ‘good life’.

  44. In order to answer this question, we must first establish the definition of a “good life”. However, there is no objective answer as what a person considers a “good life” may be completely different to the other. As a product of our environment, the social structure of our society inevitably affects us in the way how it plays a major role in shaping our belief of a “good life” through its establishment of social forces as known as social norms. Through the influence of socialisation, institutions, culture and ideology, these social norms produce a running discourse of what is the normal and natural way for people to act and live. The media aims to reflects our values and reproduces and reinforces them by how it presents the world to us, reinforcing the notion of a social structure which organises the resources we are privy to, creating social stratification.

    We are all products of our environment and the way the world is structured, thus deeming it inevitable that we are affected by social structure on a conscious and unconscious level. However we all act and react to this in our own unique ways. Whilst the majority of people conform to social norms defined by a life of financial success as they are afraid of being labelled a social outcast, others refuse to take this direction instead swimming against the mainstream. If you define a “good life” as a life encompassing pleasure and monetary success, then the social structure going to restrict ones ability to live this idea of a good life due to a lack of financial support.

    However, we can change ourselves by becoming more conscious of others and how our conformist actions can fuel the fire to the social structure system. Another way to reduce inequality within the social structure of society is to restructure the class system through basing the class system on one’s level of education rather than wealth as higher education levels can also change society in the way that they think. To facilitate this, individuals within society need to come together collectively and promote an education based class structure as a way of revaluating our society’s beliefs and reshaping its norms. Although we live in a capitalist society which means that there are always going to be social structures that divide society such as wealth gaps, it has been testified throughout history, that through collective awareness and rebellion, people can influence the inner workings of a system.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Wed0830

  45. In Australian society the chances of a good life are extremely high. Australia is a very modern, open society that for the most part embraces all the different family structures, personal life choices, and different religions that its people have to offer. For a multicultural country, the population as a whole has a shared identity and culture that unites everyone and attempts to reduce the instances of social closure; It is this culture that has put Australia ‘on the map’.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Wed630

  46. Not just in today’s society but in the past there has always been exclusion between the rich and the poor, supposing that an individual must only associate with people of the same capital which is influenced by social structures. Therefore, to change within society, all persons need to achieve a common ground to guarantee equality for all. The structures fixed in our society have firmly shaped the way our lives function to our surrounds. Differences to an individual’s life can allow or restrict one’s chances to prosper. For many, an education, employment, and a family can be measured a dream and the ideal arrangement. Finally, everyone has their own perception of what makes them happy and how they live their lives. In today’s society, it is common for people to break the barriers to establish their way of life or what makes them content. But I believe we are all restricted by society’s social structures; some more than others and with the collective group of individuals doing their part in finding who they want to become, a good life will be well and truly on the way.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thur1530

  47. A few people would define the good life as having developing their personal strengths. My definition would be i guess the same, but also having things working out your way, having the right and positive mindset, being healthy, having a good workflow and balanced things in your life where wishing yourself you are happy. But we all have different opinions of this one definition.

    Having in Australia, the family, care and work life structure, it means that full-time working women on average earn 17.9% (or $284 per week) less than similar men,
    This structure here is affecting the people around us and not only that if continues in the future we will be affected to being a woman and not being treated fairly by the governments poor policy will affect financial benefits having the $284 loss that could be used on bills or dental checks ect. why should it be men earn more than woman? for example a single mum with kids working hard would still be earning that $284 less when that could be the small boost difference on paying that childcare payment but there is nothing she can do as these are the followings of societies, stopping her from building her ‘goodlife’ but then again there is no need to be discriminatory here? and the same with the indigenous health, education, housing and government support as mentioned above, that the structure that even in 2015, non-indigenous people are likely to live ten years longer than indigenous people. Why because we have more resources and facilities available than them they live a shorter life? why should they? It stops them from living their good life and their moods and emotions won’t be as positive as someone else seen succeeding in life. We are all classified people/human we are not different, we may be as individuals and within ones self, but we are all people. The fact that we society are building their own little societies within society its not fair and yes these social structures can enable and or constraint our chances of living a good life now and continued future, building and shaping the person we become and the steps to living the life we would like.

    I think that Social structure will always exists and will always be an influence of the lives of individuals as well as shaping the individual we are. As Emile Durkheim-French Sociologist states that, “society has the power to shape our thoughts and actions”, I think that it does have the power to do so also but positively or negatively is up to that individual and how they chose to live their life and this is what is part of our chances of living a ‘good life’, whether we take in and express positivity or negativity, embrace or deny our opportunities and ultimately work with or against the social structure of our society.In ways these social structures might enable or constraint our chances, but in the end its the people who decide what they want to be and how to go about these structures to build our their greater self.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu330

  48. Society would not cope without social structures- the breaking down of these walls would only create further divide in society- as there will always be those who work hard to get ahead, and those who don’t, and fall behind as a result. As well as this, structures will always exist in some shape or form because there will always be individuals who exploit others to get ahead, thus lifting themselves above the rest and creating a divide between different social groups. The social divide is thankfully not such an issue in Australia as it is abroad, and there is equality between all in the sense that we are all given the chance at success should we choose to grasp it; and although there may be a divide between various societies that shouldn’t exist, the ability to succeed is still available for all who are hungry enough to take it. However, there is absolutely room for change and it is essential that some inequalities are broken down to give everyone a completely equal chance to succeed (gender, race etc). Humans must recognise this need and attempt to reduce the boundaries which have restrained some social groups from succeeding to the extent as others- however it is difficult to believe that there will ever be complete equality because humans are greedy by nature.

    In terms of inequalities regarding health and education, this gap is being reduced slowly, especially amongst the Indigenous community, with improvements coming from the Australian Government in the form of an increase in education, and more health facilities becoming available rurally, where these communities often live.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1130

  49. To enable a person to have a good life they first need to determine what they believe a ‘good life’ is because what it means to them may be completely different to someone else. Having equality could be to do with race, gender, economic status or career etc it just depends solely on the individual. While social structures are in place this can cause many inequalities to be shown within race, gender and more therefore being the cause of suffering for many people in society. By having different class groups individuals can identify issues or problems they may face and address them appropriately in order to be happy and live what they perceive as a ‘good life’.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2

  50. structures usually effect minorities more so than other classes, coming from and aboriginal family and being a woman with a disability I think structure has both helped and hindered my experience both in life and a university. the actions of individuals inevitably change our agency and society. there needs to be a common consensus because society involves to many people only trying to better themselves with little help to those from low socio economic backgrounds also those with disabilities. It would be very hard to changed the market because again there is no common consensus.

  51. To define a “good life” would be as difficult as defining “sociology”. It is extremely subjective and many factors such as past experience, gender, age, socioeconomic status, etc contribute to an individuals idea of what a good life is. Personally, to have lived a “good life” in my opinion would mean to have overcome adversities, have strong relationships, to have loved and to be loved.

    Social structures will always be present within society as without them society would struggle to operate. Structures assist in operating our society and I’m sure no one can truly imagine a world without them. Despite the need of social structures, they do not always work in everyones favour. An example for this women’s income rates significantly lower than mens- but for what reason?

    Society has seen many changes and improvements in relation to social structures with an example being the increased (yet still low) health rates of Indigenous people.

    In my opinion, a single individual does not have such power to affect or change social structures, however, working collectively through things such as petitions may alert society of a change. An example of this being gay marriage- thousands of petitions and plenty of Mardi Gra’s events have pushed the government into considering the legalisation of gay marriage. Another example of this being women and Indigenous right t vote.

  52. As an individual, my place within these structures is a relatively privileged one, despite my disadvantage of being a woman. I agree that it is not purely the role of government to fix inequality even though the media often drives this agenda. Government attempts to legislate against discrimination in various forms has been at best a partial success eg The Racial Discrimination Act didn’t prevent people discriminating against Adam Goodes last year.

    It is ultimately up to the individual to shift perspectives and initiate change. Social media increases awareness of inequalities but also provides a platform for discrimination to occur. People now are able to share their opinions with like minded people online eg Get Up to lobby government on issues that matter to them. The typical issues that people raise on Get Up are not about economic self interest but more typically aimed at social justice.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1530

  53. A good life can have various meanings and perception depending who you talk to or what country your in, for example a migrant to Australia may say a good life is one in a place that’s safe a full of life opportunities not just the individuals but those who migrate with families in contrast to people born into Australian culture they may say a good life is one where an individual works a job they like and earn a good income. Social structures such as workplace bureaucracies will have an affect on an individuals workplace more than their overall individual life outside of the workplace. Also some would say luck of being born into a first world country would give that individual an advantage over an individual born into a third world country, but this is not always the case, as seen in Australia there are many people born into a world of drug abuse alcohol abuse which increases their chances of health problems, it also lowers their chances of employment and has a severe affect on their education.

  54. For most, a good life within society encompasses having sustainable job, family/friends to give you the feeling of being a part of a particular group/class, a reasonable socioeconomic status and a personal identity in order to place oneself in a particular section of society. Because of the rising inequality that certain structures has placed on individuals, there is a much more evident segregation of those who benefit in society compared to those who are diminished by powerful structures.

    For us to manipulate the way societies structures affect individuals in order to make them beneficial and produce a ‘good life’ for everyone, it is important to remember that everyone has differing resources, backgrounds, and overall opinions on what a ‘good life’ is to them.

    The only way I believe that us, as individuals, can change how social structures affect us is by coming together with a strong voice and opinion in order to change things such as laws, policies and legal frameworks that surround almost every part of life from political aspects, financial aspects and technological aspects. With a strong enough individual opinion, matched with another individuals similar opinion, we are coming together and making it possible to shape society in a way that can benefit us equally – if not more – than it benefits the market today. In all, giving people the chance to shape society based on individualism.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #FRI0930

    • For most, a good life within society encompasses having sustainable job, family/friends to give you the feeling of being a part of a particular group/class, a reasonable socioeconomic status and a personal identity in order to place oneself in a particular section of society. Because of the rising inequality that certain structures has placed on individuals, there is a much more evident segregation of those who benefit in society compared to those who are diminished by powerful structures.

      For us to manipulate the way societies structures affect individuals in order to make them beneficial and produce a ‘good life’ for everyone, it is important to remember that everyone has differing resources, backgrounds, and overall opinions on what a ‘good life’ is to them.

      The only way I believe that us, as individuals, can change how social structures affect us is by coming together with a strong voice and opinion in order to change things such as laws, policies and legal frameworks that surround almost every part of life from political aspects, financial aspects and technological aspects. With a strong enough individual opinion, matched with another individuals similar opinion, we are coming together and making it possible to shape society in a way that can benefit us equally – if not more – than it benefits the market today. In all, giving people the chance to shape society based on individualism.

      #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #FRI1030

  55. Inequalities are present throughout society and with the presence of social structure/classes great influence is made on an individual’s opportunity of obtaining a “good life”. These social structures have the ability to either aid in the growth of the fortunate or constrain the growth of those less fortunate.

    So far in my life, social structure has worked to benefit me. As an 18 year old female living in Australia and having the ability to gain a school education, I am presented with the opportunity to further my knowledge at university and hopefully gain qualifications that will enable me to acquire the career that I desire. This is an opportunity that many others in less fortunate countries do not have the privilege of possessing.

    I believe that we as individuals can influence a change in social structures. This can be done through unity and higher amounts of charity to those that are in need. However, I also believe that social structures have changed and evolved throughout history and are going to continue to do so.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1530

  56. Each and every person in society will have their own idea and perception on what they believe would be a good life. Some will state that its the small things in life as a whole which has the ability to shape a persons way of life. for example being part of a group, having a loving family, good education etc, while others believe that just one big thing such as a high role in a job which can be the platform to this “good life”. Personally i believe that no life is perfect as their is all ways the negatives in life which make people of society better and stronger as they overcome these barriers but based on own personal opinion my life is turning out how i hoped it would. Its not great but i have a good education, good group of friends and family who look out for me and that my outlook is very positive.

    Social structures will always exist shaping and influencing peoples lives, some more than others. These structures are constraining as they determine the appropriate behaviours in any situation. These social structures arnt immediately visible, however have the ability to affect all dimensions of human experiences .

    So far These social structures have gave me with an opportunity to a great education which will potentially point me in the direction of a great career choice. For every individual there will be either a positive or negative aspect that the social stricture has had on their lives, and the ways they’ve been influenced to live their lives. But as the years go on and as seen in the past few decades or so the social is forever changing and manipulating societies way of living.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #fri1030

  57. Social structures affect every individual; but depending whether or not its a positive or negative impact is from the individuals perspective. What a good life is to one person, may be the exact opposite for another. Still besides differences with in beliefs of what makes a ‘good life’ there is still inequality in social structures present to this day which can automatically affect this (e.g those of aboriginal background having a shorter life span compared to those who aren’t, or the racial belief some still hold on certain races.) Though these social structures evolve and change over time, so by aiming for unity and a more open minded equal society between everyone regardless of race, age, religion or gender, we can gain greater sense of self and the world around us and work towards everyone having the equal opportunity of having a ‘good life.’

    #SOC103UOW16 #Tut2 #Fri1230

  58. Social structure affects everyone who lives in society. The effect it has, however, depends on the person or group that is in question. Everyone is born into different circumstances, and how the individual decides to deal with these factors, whether they are in the persons favour or working against them, affects how the structure of society will, in turn, either reward or discriminate towards them.

    Individuals can always strive for larger prospects in life, and in doing so may inspire change or just a larger group of people to attempt that same result. Individual change within that society with a rigid structure may have little effect at the time, yet later these miniscule changes can cause a major change within the society. It only takes one person who thinks individually and wants to change something in their life or another to inspire others to collectively change society. Once an idea forms, it has the possibility to radically disrupt the norm within a community, and this is a chance for a group of like-minded people to affect not only each other, but the people as a whole, whether negatively or positively.

    The structures of society are rigid, but not impossible to impact if enough force is applied. One misdirected line in a painting can cause the image as a whole to change, and one small change in society can change the perspectives of the many. This change can give the community a chance to aid the people instead of the market, and in a capitalist society, this would be a radical opportunity to change the power structure, the political scheme and the mainstream idea of how the social structure affect the people as a group and as individuals.

    #SOC103UOW16 #Tut2 #fri1530

  59. Social structures are an interesting and fundamental part of society that have existed for centuries. They include both internal and external factors such as gender, culture, class and also core beliefs and life experiences. The concept of ‘social conflict’ and the divide between wealthy and poor that Karl Marx researched over a century ago is still prominent in society today.
    When contemplating the idea of what a good life may look like, it is important to understand what the concept of a ‘good life’ may mean to an individual. The notion of having a ‘good life’ and ultimately being happy and satisfied can differ from person to person. To some it may mean being successful at their job or rising in rank however to another it may be the idea of starting a family. I also believe there are other factors such as having a good support system and wealth that play a vital role in the chances of having a good life.
    When reflecting on my chances of a good life, I can see that social structures both help and hinder me. Being born into a socio-economically privileged middle class society has given me many advantages that others may not have had such as living in safe and progressive neighbourhoods, having access to private health insurance and private education. However, as a female I feel there are some disadvantages. A female is more prone to be overlooked in workplace environments or when applying for certain jobs. Women will also be paid less than a male workmate that provides the same service. Statistically speaking, women are also more likely to be sexually harassed, however they are unlikely to report it due to stigma and potential job loss. As a woman it is likely that your opinions and your voice will not be given the same importance as your male counterparts.
    @jcg530
    #SOC103 #tut2 #Fri1530

  60. Social structures are an interesting and fundamental part of society that have existed for centuries. They include both internal and external factors such as gender, culture, class and also core beliefs and life experiences. The concept of ‘social conflict’ and the divide between wealthy and poor that Karl Marx researched over a century ago is still prominent in society today.
    When contemplating the idea of what a good life may look like, it is important to understand what the concept of a ‘good life’ may mean to an individual. The notion of having a ‘good life’ and ultimately being happy and satisfied can differ from person to person. To some it may mean being successful at their job or rising in rank however to another it may be the idea of starting a family. I also believe there are other factors such as having a good support system and wealth that play a vital role in the chances of having a good life.
    When reflecting on my chances of a good life, I can see that social structures both help and hinder me. Being born into a socio-economically privileged middle class society has given me many advantages that others may not have had such as living in safe and progressive neighbourhoods, having access to private health insurance and private education. However, as a female I feel there are some disadvantages. A female is more prone to be overlooked in workplace environments or when applying for certain jobs. Women will also be paid less than a male workmate that provides the same service. Statistically speaking, women are also more likely to be sexually harassed, however they are unlikely to report it due to stigma and potential job loss. As a woman it is likely that your opinions and your voice will not be given the same importance as your male counterparts.
    @jcg530
    #SOC103UOW16 #tut2 #Fri1530

  61. When it comes to the concept of social structures, the common response is the false beliefs that money will make us happy, but is this true? Does money really fulfill us with the perspective of a great life? Me, I believe not, the idea of money and constant comparing to who has this and who has that is clouding our judgment of a good life. Yes money allows us to have a good education, provides us with a stable life, but to me I want to be able to look back on a life that I am proud of, that I can remind myself of the memories, life experiences I have encountered and the individuals I have met on my journey through life.
    #SOC103UOW16 #tut2 #Fri1030

  62. Society tells us that in order to live a good a life we must work hard and earn a lot of money to afford daily necessities and luxuries to attain a happy and successful life. Social structures govern the ways in which we act and are shaped by the people in it. Every individual has their own idea of what a ‘good life’ is depending on their culture, race, class and/or gender. Some people place great amount of value on material possessions such as clothes, cars, electronics and indulging in a generally luxurious life. Whilst people with lesser might consider themselves to have enough to live a good life. In a society driven by capitalist economy the more advances that are made, the greater the inequality gap becomes between the rich and the poor. People with higher socioeconomic status are generally believed to be the least disadvantaged in terms of attaining a good life because of their career and salary. This structure of society impacts other aspects of an individual’s life such as their level of education and health, which affects the age gap between certain groups of people in society (e.g. Indigenous v.s non-indigenous). Everyone’s view of what good life is heavily impacted by ones happiness and their station in life. Thus, attaining a good life is not necessarily dependent on society itself but how the individual believes they should act and this belief is shaped by society.
    #SOC103UOW16 #tut2 #Tue1130

  63. The chance of living within a stable society differs from one person to the next. People living in poorer situations report that they are on average less satisfied with their lives opposed to people living in wealthier communities. This tells us the chances of ones happiness and socio-economic status is varied between person to person. We as biological beings can think deeply to which society and culture we are associated to which inhibits the way we think in certain ways. The concept of a ‘good life’ is the values and ideas of what we, as individuals and members of society, do and should want from our life and for humanity. This belief differs from the many societies we have present in our communities. Geographical location dictates the overall satisfaction we can measure, many countries having social structures enforced since colonisation each with their own standards and varied rules. These structures inhibit ones stratification and serve as a heirachy for the rich to stay rich and the poor to remain poor. Until a community governs the needed investment into education and further creation of jobs, social structure will not be breached.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #TUE130B

  64. The chance of living within a stable society differs from one person to the next. People living in poorer situations report that they are on average less satisfied with their lives opposed to people living in wealthier communities. This tells us the chances of ones happiness and socio-economic status is varied between person to person. We as biological beings can think deeply to which society and culture we are associated to which inhibits the way we think in certain ways. The concept of a ‘good life’ is the values and ideas of what we, as individuals and members of society, do and should want from our life and for humanity. This belief differs from the many societies we have present in our communities. Geographical location dictates the overall satisfaction we can measure, many countries having social structures enforced since colonisation each with their own standards and varied rules. These structures inhibit ones stratification and serve as a heirachy for the rich to stay rich and the poor to remain poor. Until a community governs the needed investment into education and further creation of jobs, social structure will not be breached.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #TUE1230B

  65. Not just in today’s society but in the past there has always been exclusion between the rich and the poor, supposing that an individual must only associate with people of the same capital which is influenced by social structures. Therefore, to change within society, all persons need to achieve a common ground to guarantee equality for all. The structures fixed in our society have firmly shaped the way our lives function to our surrounds. Differences to an individual’s life can allow or restrict one’s chances to prosper. For many, an education, employment, and a family can be measured a dream and the ideal arrangement. Finally, everyone has their own perception of what makes them happy and how they live their lives. In today’s society, it is common for people to break the barriers to establish their way of life or what makes them content. But I believe we are all restricted by society’s social structures; some more than others and with the collective group of individuals doing their part in finding who they want to become, a good life will be well and truly on the way.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Thu1530

  66. As a white male, growing up in a first world country, I rate my chances at a good life fairly high. However I was also born into a family and country that allowed me all forms of education desired. This undoubtedly betters my chances at finding stable employment and a reasonably paid job. This doesn’t mean I don’t worry, as I don’t know what job I want to pursue and so have no idea what opportunities are available. But I feel that in Australia we are far more stable, and more likely to gain steady employment that can fund a normal lifestyle today.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut2 #Tue1230b

  67. As a 20 year old white male living in a suburban area in a middle classed society I would rate my chances pretty good in terms of the ability to access appropriate health care, education and employment opportunity, these structures do not have much constraint over my life. For other individuals for example an Indigenous Australian living in a rural or remote area have constraints on the ability to push through what is called the glass ceiling, the inability to have access to health, employment and education opportunities are a barrier in itself but the social constraints or racism and cuts from government policies has a heavy burden on the ability for an Indigenous Australian of a low Socio economic status to break through and better themselves into middle or even high class society.
    #S103UOW16 #tut2 #930

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