Weber defines life chances as "the fundamental aspects of an individual's future possibilities that are shaped by class membership, from the infant's chances for decent nutrition to the adult's opportunities for worldly success" (Gilbert, 1998). In other words life chances are the future possibilities of ones own class structure. Our class position will always play a huge role in our chance for success. Opportunity structure is a ray of opportunity that is available to us at any given time (Gilbert, 1998). The two terms life chances and opportunity structure seem to go hand in hand. Without opportunity the likeliness of having good life chances are slim. If there were no life chances and we were never put into a particular class, there would be no opportunity structure. .
I was born into a family that would be described by Gilbert as upper-middle class. Upper-middle class consists of people who make anywhere from $45,000-$80,000 yearly. These are people who either have a college education, own their own medium sized business, or are managers. At this time the class model, presented by Coleman and Rainwater was distributed into these categories: upper upper, lower upper, upper middle, middle, working, semi poor, and the bottom. During this time it only took over $60,000 per year to be considered the top, upper-upper. Today you must have a typical income of $1.5 billion to be in the top elite, the capitalist class (Gilbert, 1998). Occupational and class structure has changed drastically over the years and will continue to change in years to come. .
My father's parents were well off and had spoiled him his whole life. My dad worked for his parents at the family owned business. He made very good money and we had everything we could ever want. We had a large two-story home in a nice small town. My parents both had expensive cars. My sister and I had just about every toy that was made at the time.