Outline and Assess the View of the New Egalitarian Arguments About Social Mobility

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‘Outline and assess the view of the New Egalitarian arguments about social mobility’ (40 marks)
Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to others' social location within a given society. The New Egalitarians are a group of sociologists and politicians who believe that social-class divisions are in decline and that policies to socially include deprived groups are working. Their critics consist mainly of the Traditionalists, Marxists and Neo Marxists. In this essay I aim to show how persuasive the New Egalitarian argument is.
New Egalitarian sociologists such as Giddens and Diamond (2005) argue that social class is no longer an important source of inequality or identity in the contemporary UK. They suggest that the UK is a meritocratic society in that equality of opportunity is now the norm, i.e. all members of society are objectively and equally judged on their talent and ability. However, the Traditionalist view opposes this; they argue class divisions and conflict are still the key characteristics of British society today. They believe that Labour politicians have abandoned their commitment to equality and social justice for those exploited by the organisation of capitalism. They believe Labour politicians have betrayed its working-class roots because it has done nothing to redistribute wealth and income from rich to poor, or to address the fundamental flaws that they see as inherent in the capitalist system. Therefore, they argue that by implying effort is the key to success, as the New Egalitarians do, little is done to change existing structural arrangements that have traditionally benefited the economic elite. In addition to this, the concept of the poverty trap would also go against the New Egalitarians…...

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