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Being a member of a particular ethnic group can mean that an individual experiences different life chances. For example, official statistics show that educational achievement and patterns of employment vary greatly between different ethnic groups. Such differences in life chances can often lead to members of minority ethnic groups feeling excluded from society. Furthermore, people may hold stereotypical views about certain minority ethnic groups.

Using material from Item E and elsewhere, assess the view that ethnicity is the most important factor in determining an individual’s life chances. (21)

The view that ethnicity is the most important factor in determining life chances is skewed but holds some integrity. One could argue a solid case for why ethnicity is the most important factor, however there is also a lot of evidence to suggest that other social stratifications are more important than ethnicity. For example many people may say that disability or class are much more important in defining someone life chances.

As the Item suggests, members of certain ethnic groups can feel socially excluded and face prejudice on a daily basis. Within schools certain ethnic groups are placed in lower sets and are labelled. This labelling theory leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby ethnic minorities may create subcultures that lead to a poor educational attainment. The statistics support this idea. Teachers are four times more likely to expel a black person than they are a white person.  In a survey conducted by Channel four, most people who belong to an ethnic minority have faced racism in their lives before. There can be many negative implications as a result of this prejudice, they may score lower in school which leads to less life chances, or may face discrimination in the workplace which also


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