Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Opportunities shouldn't be a matter of birth

A defining characteristic of middle-class people is the belief that their achievements are largely the result of their own hard work (Comment, June 8).

They are uncomfortable with talk of social class because this would require them to acknowledge the myriad advantages they have enjoyed and call into question their personal merit worthiness.

Psychologically, it is easier for them to disparage talk of social class as an expression of resentment on the part of those who simply haven't done enough to help themselves.

It is very difficult, therefore, to have a sensible discussion on this issue. But there is little doubt that opportunities in our society depend to a great extent on accidents of birth and this is something that a genuinely fair society should be seeking to mitigate.

DR GARY KITCHEN

By e-mail

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