Specific AssignmentA Class Divided (available on YouTube).After watching the documentary, A Class Divided (available on YouTube and posted on CANVAS), your assignment will be to apply the three theoretical perspectives (symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, and structural functionalism) to race and ethnic relations. You will define each theory as it applies to race and ethnicity. Next, you will give examples from the film as it relates to the theory. For each theory, you should have at least 2 examples (more if possible) from the film to explain the context. Be analytic when applying the theories and concepts to the film. In some instances, you will use quotes from the film as examples and to explain your application and analysis; all other information should be in your own words. Each of you should specifically apply the terms/concepts to examples from the film (do not just note the terms in your definitions of the theories).Paper OrganizationYou will begin your paper with an introductory paragraph about the documentary oYou will explain the 3 theories (symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, and structural functionalism) at it relates to race and ethnicity The body of your paper will consist of applying the 3 sociological theories to the film. You can choose to dedicate one paragraph per theory; discuss the issues and examples presented in the film as it relates to the theory and incorporate other applications (terms, concepts, and data from lecture/textbook) within these paragraphs. oYou should have a minimum of two examples from the film in each themed paragraph. Make sure you specifically state the theory you are discussing at the beginning of each paragraph and that you define the theory in your own words before you begin applying it to the film. Lastly, you will have a conclusion paragraph (incorporate application from class where necessary)NotesEach paper must be typed, 1.5 spacing, 12 pt font, and 1 inch margins. Minimum of 3 pages.Writing Tips:Do not write in the first or second person (“I” or “you” unless you are quoting the film).Do not use contractions (use “cannot” instead of “can’t” unless you are quoting the film).Proofread your paper! (Sometimes it helps to read your paper out loud for clarity)

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Specific AssignmentA Class Divided (available on YouTube).After watching the documentary, A Class Divided (available on YouTube and posted on CANVAS), your assignment will be to apply the three theoretical perspectives (symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, and structural functionalism) to race and ethnic relations. You will define each theory as it applies to race and ethnicity. Next, you will give examples from the film as it relates to the theory. For each theory, you should have at least 2 examples (more if possible) from the film to explain the context. Be analytic when applying the theories and concepts to the film. In some instances, you will use quotes from the film as examples and to explain your application and analysis; all other information should be in your own words. Each of you should specifically apply the terms/concepts to examples from the film (do not just note the terms in your definitions of the theories).Paper OrganizationYou will begin your paper with an introductory paragraph about the documentary oYou will explain the 3 theories (symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, and structural functionalism) at it relates to race and ethnicity The body of your paper will consist of applying the 3 sociological theories to the film. You can choose to dedicate one paragraph per theory; discuss the issues and examples presented in the film as it relates to the theory and incorporate other applications (terms, concepts, and data from lecture/textbook) within these paragraphs. oYou should have a minimum of two examples from the film in each themed paragraph. Make sure you specifically state the theory you are discussing at the beginning of each paragraph and that you define the theory in your own words before you begin applying it to the film. Lastly, you will have a conclusion paragraph (incorporate application from class where necessary)NotesEach paper must be typed, 1.5 spacing, 12 pt font, and 1 inch margins. Minimum of 3 pages.Writing Tips:Do not write in the first or second person (“I” or “you” unless you are quoting the film).Do not use contractions (use “cannot” instead of “can’t” unless you are quoting the film).Proofread your paper! (Sometimes it helps to read your paper out loud for clarity)

 

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Social Stratification and Social Inequality • Social stratification is the division of society into groups arranged in a social hierarchy. • Every society has some form of stratification, but societies stratify people according to a variety of criteria (such as race, class, and gender). • Those at the top of the hierarchy have greater access to resources • Social inequality is the unequal distribution of wealth, power, or prestige among members of a society. • You may have heard of this term used a lot in the U.S. and how it affects an individual’s life chances and experience © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 1 Systems of Stratification: Social Class • Social class: a system of stratification based on access to resources such as wealth, property, power, and prestige. • Sociologists often refer to social class as socioeconomic status (or SES). • In the U.S., being a capitalist society, social class is the system of stratification; but is not rooted in simple economics/wealth, hence the term socioeconomic status. • Intersectionality: a concept that identifies how different categories of inequality (e.g., class, race, and gender) intersect • Even though the social hierarchy in the U.S. is base on economic status, you will learn that is not necessarily the case. For instance, a rich male who is White will generally have access to more resources that a poor women of color. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 2 The U.S. Social Class Ladder • Watch the video below about the wealth distribution in the U.S.. Although the video was made in 2012, the wealth inequality is greater in 2020. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 3 The Relative Social Prestige of Selected Occupations in the United States • A concept that is fairly true in the U.S. is that the more money an occupation makes, to more prestigious the job is. That is not always the case. As you can see based on the chart on the right, doctors have the most prestige and are above athletes. Also, members of the Clergy are 6th on the list, an occupation not known for its financial rewards. Although not listed, some garbage collectors, depending on the location, can average six-figures yearly (https://money.cnn.com/2016/02/24/news/econom y/trash-workers-high-pay/). But it may not be the most prestigious work which contributes to one’s ranking in the social hierarchy. © 2018 W. W. Norton ©&2018 Co.,W. Inc. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 4 Socioeconomic Status and Life Chances • Belonging to a certain social class has profound consequences for individuals in all areas of life including family, health, education, work and income, and criminal justice. • Consider the current pandemic and how it affect those of different class statuses. In the beginning, who had access to get tested when testing was scarce? During these tough economic times, who are more likely to have the resources to sustain themselves, including healthcare in the event they contracted COVID-19 and the means to isolate from others? Lastly, consider the occupations that were deemed essential (grocery store employees) and who had to put themselves at risk to return to work and the PPE they were provided. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 5 Social Mobility: Closed and Open Systems • Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups within the hierarchical system of social classes. • A closed system is one in which there is very little opportunity to move from one class to another. • An open system is one with ample opportunity to move from one class to another. • We have an open system in the U.S. that allows people to move from one class to another. Even though there are examples where poor individuals have gone on to become wealthy (ex. Oprah), this is the exception and not the rule. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 6 Inequality and the Ideology of the American Dream • The American Dream: • is the ideology that anyone can achieve material success if he or she works hard enough • explains and justifies economic inequality in our social system • has been criticized for legitimizing stratification by implying that everyone has the same opportunity to get ahead • As you have seen in this chapter and will in future chapters, this is far from true • This is based of the concept of a meritocracy, that rewards are base on merit. In other words, you have earned what you deserve. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb2nrSrU5Z0 © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 7 Theories of Social Class: Conflict Theory • Karl Marx believed that there were two main social classes in capitalist societies: • Capitalists (or bourgeoisie) who owned the means of production • Workers (or proletariat) who sold their labor for wages • Most of the population, myself included, fall under the proletariat, or working class. The only item we are in control of are our labor and we can choose who to work for. • He believed that the classes would remain divided and social inequality would grow. • Some of you may have heard the term the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” The pandemic has emphasized the gap in social inequality as many individuals struggle financially during this time. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 8 Theories of Social Class: Structural Functionalism • Suggests that the system of stratification that has emerged is functional to society in many ways: • Certain roles are more important for the functioning of society, and these roles may be more difficult to fill, so more incentive is needed. • Remember that doctors are at the top of the prestigious occupation chart, which would support this theory that only the very best should fill this occupation and explains it high financial reward. • Greater rewards are necessary for work that requires more training or skill. • Again, consider what was deemed essential work during the pandemic. Should all these jobs that are required for the functioning of society be compensated accordingly? • Recall what Ehrenreich said in the previous video clip, that no job is considered unskilled labor. Do you agree with this? © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 9 Theories of Social Class: Symbolic Interaction Theory • Symbolic interactionists examine the way we use status differences to categorize ourselves and others. • We would place individuals in a particular social class based on superficial factors. • As Erving Goffman pointed out, our clothing, speech, gestures, possessions, friends, and activities provide information about our socioeconomic status. • Remember how each occupation came with a level of prestige; what are some of things you associate with a person who has that job and belongs to a particular socioeconomic status? You may expect doctors or lawyers to drive fancy cars, own a large house in an affluent area, wear expensive clothing, play golf, and have friends/associate with others of similar statuses. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 10 Theories of Social Class: Postmodernism and Social Reproduction • More recently, Pierre Bourdieu attempted to explain social reproduction. • Social reproduction: the tendency for social-class status to be passed down from one generation to the next • According to Bourdieu, this happens because each generation acquires cultural capital (tastes, habits, expectations, skills, knowledge, etc.), which helps us to gain advantages in society. • Video further explaining cultural capital → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DBEYiBkgp8 © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. 11 Social Reproduction cont. • This cultural capital either helps or hinders us as we become adults. • The difficulty that comes with climbing the social ladder does not simply lie in work ethic alone. The narrative is that education is the key to success. Although there is a correlation between education levels and income, not all schooling is the same, especially at the grade school level. • Think about how difficult it is for some during this pandemic who may not have the finances to afford technological equipment for remote learning, including a reliable internet connection, which the textbook refers to as the digital divide. • After watching the two videos on the right (links below) consider the possible dangers facing these students who are limited in their education before and during the pandemic. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQyW5X7IGIQ • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBjrdHANZXo © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. 12 Poverty • In the United States, the federal poverty line (an absolute measure of annual income) is frequently used to determine who should be categorized as poor. • The poverty threshold in 2020 for a family of four is $26,200 (https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines) • This is a national average, which does not take into consideration the higher cost of living in different states, such as California • Most people living in poverty are not unemployed. This fact is evident in the term “working poor.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbvNhQ4lYLE © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. 13 Poverty: Culture of Poverty and Invisibility of Poverty • The culture of poverty refers to learned attitudes that can develop among poor communities and lead the poor to accept their fate rather than attempt to improve their situation. • An issue with this theory is that it completely blames the individual for their struggles and overlooks the social forces that impacts SES (goes back to the concept of the “American Dream” and work ethic) • Invisibility of Poverty: Residential segregation, political disenfranchisement, and the use of law enforcement to control the homeless can make poverty invisible to many Americans. • It is common knowledge that in the city of Irvine, the reason you do not see homeless individuals is because they are picked up by law enforcement and dropped off in another city. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYFeY2pS0ks © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. 14 Defining Race and Ethnicity • Race is a socially defined category, based on real or perceived biological differences between groups of people. • Humans are 99.9% genetically identical • The differences are superficial, such as skin color, hair type, etc. • Ex. Black, White, Asian • Ethnicity is a socially defined category based on common language, religion, nationality, history, or another cultural factor. • Ex. Korean, Japanese, German, Mexican, Jewish, etc. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 1 Defining Race and Ethnicity: Social Constructions • Sociologists see race and ethnicity as social constructions because • Race isn’t based on biology (for instance, we don’t test DNA to determine race). • Many of you have heard of and possibly have partaken in an ancestry test. The video on the right will show that we may not know who we really are when it comes to racial backgrounds. • Also, you could have more in common biologically with someone of a different race than someone within your own. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyaEQEmt5ls 2 Social Constructions (cont’d.) • Racial categories change over time. • As you can see based on the census questions between 1950 and 2020, the options have expanded. • Racial categories never have firm boundaries. • Your textbook mentions that Irish, Italian, and Jewish individuals were not considered White until after World War II when skin color became the main determinant of race. 1950 Census 2020 Census Defining Race and Ethnicity (cont’d.) • The distinction between race and ethnicity is important because ethnicity can be displayed or hidden, depending on individual preferences, while racial identities are always on display. • Whether someone is Irish, Japanese, Jewish, or any other ethnic identity can be hidden if desired; but that same person cannot hide if their White, Black, Latino, Asian, etc. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 4 “Ethnic Options”: Symbolic and Situational Ethnicity • Symbolic ethnicity is an ethnic identity that is only relevant on specific occasions and does not significantly impact everyday life. • Ex. St. Patrick’s Day, Chinese/Lunar New Year, Cinco de Mayo • Situational ethnicity is an ethnic identity that can be either displayed or concealed, depending on its usefulness in a given situation. • If you are in a situation where your ethnicity could benefit you, you would display it for that advantage. But if you are in a situation where that would hinder you, you would hide it. • Ex. You and your boss share the same ethnic identity and you believe it could strengthen your working relationship. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 5 What Is a Minority? • A minority group is a social group that is systematically denied access to power and resources available to the dominant groups of a society. • It is not necessarily fewer in number than the dominant group. • It is possible to have a numerical majority but still be a minority in society. In the U.S., people of color are historically and currently the minority groups even if they collectively may be the numerical majority in some states, like California. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 6 Racial and Ethnic Populations in the U.S. 2016 © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 7 Racism in Its Many Forms • Racism: a set of beliefs about the claimed superiority of one racial or ethnic group • Used to justify inequality • Often rooted in the assumption that differences between groups are genetic • Hopefully you have gotten a chance to watch “A Class Divided” that shows how influential the belief in superiority can affect behavior. • In the case of that classroom, eye color was used to determine superiority. • Color-blind racism: an ideology that removes race as an explanation for any form of unequal treatment • Issue lies in that arguments are made that race is not a factor in discriminatory practices • Ex: Argument that African Americans commit crimes at higher rates which is why Blacks make up a large portion of the prison population. This ignores the fact that Blacks may be targeted more by law enforcement and therefore are not necessarily committing more crimes but are sought out more by police. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 8 Prejudice and Discrimination • Prejudice (a thought process): • An idea about the characteristics of a group • Applied to all members of that group • Unlikely to change regardless of the evidence against it • Discrimination (an action): • Unequal treatment of individuals because of their social group • Usually motivated by prejudice ❖The key difference between the two is that prejudice is a belief while discrimination is the act of unequal treatment. Hence, there is a difference between racist beliefs and racist acts. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 9 Prejudice and Discrimination: Individual & Institutional Discrimination • Individual discrimination is discrimination carried out by one person against another. • Institutional discrimination is systematic discrimination carried out by social institutions (political, economic, educational, and others) that affects all members of a group who come into contact with it. • You may have heard the term systemic racism as of late, and refers to how social structures, like law enforcement, unfairly treat certain groups of people. This form of discrimination is much more influential in society that individual discrimination. ❖In “A Class Divided” an example of Institutional discrimination would be the rules the teacher placed that disadvantaged one group of the students. An example of Individual discrimination would be how the students treated each other based on their perceived differences. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 10 Racism in Its Many Forms (cont’d.) • White nationalism is the belief that the nation should reflect a white identity • White Privilege involves unearned advantage for dominant group members and Colorblind racism is an ideology that disqualifies race and an explanatory factor for inequality • Privilege can come in other forms as well, such as male privilege • Microaggressions consist of everyday verbal and nonverbal communications that are denigrating or dismissive • Examples of this is in “A Class Divided” where the children began to treat each other differently • Reverse racism is the claim by whites that they are discriminated against due to their race • Ex: affirmative action, which sought to offset years of systemic racism by favoring a group that has been historically discriminated against. Affirmative action would factor in determining college admissions and job offers. © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 11 Cultural Appropriation • Cultural appropriation occurs when dominant group members adopt aspects of an oppressed group’s culture without permission and for gain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFGwmUCH9aI © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. 12 Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Race: Structural Functionalism • Structural Functionalism • Focus on the ways that race creates social ties and strengthens group bonds • Bonds would form based on a shared race among members • Think about how the students of similar eye colors came together as result of their shared physical trait (“A Class Divided”) • Acknowledge that such ties can lead to violence and social conflict between groups • Consider the history of race relations in the U.S. • There was even social conflict and violence in “A Class Divided” © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 13 Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Race: Conflict Theory • Conflict Theory • Focuses on the struggle for power and control over scarce resources • Argues that resources (wealth, property) are limited and there is conflict between groups for these items • Consider what the resources were in ‘A Class Divided” and how there was a struggle between the groups for these resources © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 14 Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Race: Symbolic Interactionism • Symbolic Interactionism • Focus on the ways that race, class, and gender intersect to produce an individual’s identity • See race as an aspect of identity established through interaction • Our perception of our racial identity is based on communication with others, similar to the looking-glass self • How did the interactions among the students with different eye colors in “A Class Divided” effect their identities? © 2018 W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. 15 Race, Ethnicity, and Life Chances: Education • In U.S. education, the highest high school dropout rates are associated with those from economically disadvantaged and nonEnglish-speaking backgrounds. • Think about how online learning is affecting these individuals who may not have the means for online courses and the additional help they need and are not able to receive. • The video on the right was included in Chapter 7 but also applies in this section. © 2018 W.&Norton © 2018 W. W.W. Norton Co., Inc. & Co., Inc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBjrdHANZXo 16 Race, Ethnicity, and Life Chances: Work and Income • Inequality can also be seen in the workplace and in income distribution. • People of color, who are less likely to achieve high levels of education, are more likely to have lower-paying jobs. • There are jobs today that require a college degree that did not require one before. • Some of you may have heard that the pandemic is effecting minority groups more; this is one of the r …
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