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AcademicGround >> Inequalities in America


3/14/07 5:11 PM
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TolsmaFCF
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Edited: 14-Mar-07
Member Since: 11/08/2004
Posts: 97
 
This is a little assignment I have in a sociology class and I figured this fourm could help. Assuming America is a place in which inequalities exist, give evidence of it. In other words, find empirical "facts" that show there is inequality in America. That means, find the actual evidence that is NOT anectdotal (individuals' personal stories) that support a position that there is racism, classism, and sexism in America. Now, use two of the three theories (conflict, functionalism, or symbolic interaction) to help explain the existence of inequalities. So, this means, first, convince your reader that there are inequalities and then try to explain them using the new paradigms in sociology to help understand why we have them. Any assistance on this would be appreciated....
3/14/07 8:41 PM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 14-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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"Any assistance on this would be appreciated...." Axiom - People are not identical. Derived Conclusions - If people are not identical they are not exactly equal. If people are not equal, there is not and has never been a society without inequalities. ---- now go tell your sociology professor to get a real job, instead of wasting people's time with this bullshit.
3/15/07 6:17 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 15-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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This assignment seems to beg like 3-4 questions. At least it's pretty easy to see what answer he wants you to give.
3/16/07 5:22 AM
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FiatLux
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Edited: 16-Mar-07
Member Since: 03/12/2002
Posts: 4710
America is a meritocracy
3/16/07 8:08 AM
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asdf
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Edited: 16-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 11337
RoR is correct.
3/19/07 7:56 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 19-Mar-07
Member Since: 08/28/2001
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Anything that I would write on the topic would be best balanced with a comparison of other countries. Heart Defibrillators have failure rates, but they beat the hell out of doing nothing.
3/19/07 11:09 PM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 19-Mar-07
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"Heart Defibrillators have failure rates, but they beat the hell out of doing nothing." that assumes increased degrees of, say, financial inequalities are analogous to a disease. at a certain point, they certainly could be, but what point? is it possible, in a modern society, that some degree of financial inequality is actually a sign of economic health? it's hard to find a 10x or 50x productivity difference when people are all digging ditches with shovels, but you can find that kind of difference in certain fields that are critical to a modern economy. if someone is producing 50x more work, does it make sense to pay them like someone who doesn't? The only way that will work in the long term is in the absence of competition.
3/25/07 4:39 AM
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AaronU
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Edited: 25-Mar-07
Member Since: 09/26/2003
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People become sociology majors because they want to change the world. They don't know how they're going to do it, but they know that they want to.
3/25/07 2:00 PM
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FiatLux
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Edited: 25-Mar-07
Member Since: 03/12/2002
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"People become sociology majors because they want to change the world. They don't know how they're going to do it, but they know that they want to." That's one of the sadest things I've read in a long time.
5/20/07 2:26 AM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 20-May-07
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RoR has owned this thread
7/7/07 8:35 PM
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ocianain
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Edited: 07-Jul-07
Member Since: 02/05/2006
Posts: 1024
Equality is an absolute, any deviation from an absolute is a lessening in degree. This being so, there never was and never can be, equality. Your professor and yourself are an example of this, he is better educated than you, a inequality; while you are younger than him, another inequality.
9/3/07 10:24 AM
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BodyandSoul
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Edited: 03-Sep-07 10:36 AM
Member Since: 08/24/2007
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Oh dear, this is way too late but the point of the assignment was probably to focus on the divergent theoretical explanations of inequality provided by functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionalism. It's the second paragraph that's the real point of the exercise. Rather than racism, classism, and sexism in America, the professor should have written "race, class, and sex based inequalities." The existence of these inequalities is fairly easy to evidence. Then, for the bulk of the assignment, you would look at why they exist according to the different theorists. A functionalist, for example, would claim that inequality is both necessary and useful because different social roles require different levels of skill and different rewards in order to maintain the division of labour required for the functioning of complex societies. A conflict theoriest would point to the existence of various 'status groups' and maintain that these groups are organized around securing the best benefits for their members often at the expense of others. Interactionists are often criticized for not addressing inequality, but to the extent that they do, they would tend to focus on the importance of concepts like social distance (e.g. "Sociology proffesors (sic) are such a waste of space.") and the micro-interactions that produce, define, and support our various isms. Horribly written assignment. The professor could have easily just said: "Provide evidence that inequalities exist in America and explain it using two of the three paradigms we have studied in the class."

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