We often think about our economic situation as a result of certain personal factors. We know that personal choices, habits, and behaviors are factors that influence our economic standing. For example, a decision about what type of education to pursue may open up certain job opportunities while closing off others. Likewise, personal traits such as ambition and discipline seem to correlate with increased economic success.
A social perspective opens us up to considering the many factors beyond our personal control that also effect our economic situation. A social perspective considers, for example, the state of the economy itself. In a strong economy, a person is more likely to be presented with opportunities for economic success and advancement than he would be in a weaker economy. Another social factor that influences our economic situation is the economic situation of our family and of our various social circles. Social identity (i.e. nationality, age, gender, etc.) influences our economic status and mobility as well.