Choose 4 questions (each should be 1.5 long –12 point, double spaced, 1 inch margins, in word document). Your answers should “fully answer” the questions. Use examples and most importantly demonstrate that you understand the course materials. You should always include sociology or use your sociological imagination!
Your turn it in score must be below 20% in order for your exam to be accepted.
1) Describe current trends in poverty, income and wealth in the United States. Is class or social status more important in understanding the everyday conditions and choices of individuals in the United States? Which of the theories/ theorists seem to make the most sense to you in explaining “how” and why inequality exists? Explain why.
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2) What is wrong with the argument that says that rewards are a reflection of one’s skills and credentials? Why does one’s job play such an important role in this argument? Give examples. What are the chances that the inequality system will change given that “wealthy” individuals are more likely to consider the system to be fair.
3) Is it possible to categorize people without ranking them? How? Or why not?
4) Describe current trends in street crime vs white collar / corporate crime. Why does ordinary street crime receive more attention than white collar and corporate crimes? What are the costs for individual victims and society for both types of crimes?
5) What must be done to improve the living conditions of the “inner-city” and low-income neighborhoods? How would this effect crime?
6) Why is it difficult for those in labor, civil rights, women’s and gay-rights movements to join forces? What effect do you think the “conservative” movement will have on inequality in the United States? What kinds of new inequalities are emerging?
7) Describe the institutions of family, education and religion’s influence on inequality. Give example of how each has perpetuated and justified inequality. Are there any aspects of these institutions that undermine inequality (or decrease inequality)?