Explain how forms of discrimination create or maintain social stratification in society

Please choose three out of the following four questions to answer.

Good answers will connect course themes and issues to the broader implications for society.  When appropriate, please reflect on socialization processes, opportunities, social structures and social theory.  Each answer should incorporate both class materials from the assigned Manza reading and lectures/discussions.  In ONE of the three questions you choose you should incorporate a movie we watched in class (Miss Representation, The Devil’s Playground, Purity Balls: America’s Modern Virginity Movement, The Shape of Water, etc.) to back up your analysis/argument.  Also ONE of the three questions must use a personal anecdotal experience to help explain the social phenomena and connect it to your own sociological imagination.

  • How is society gendered? What social institutions operate under a gender binary?  How do we learn gender norms?  Provide examples of gender inequality or feminist issues.  Why does gender inequality persist?  What can we do to even the playing field?
  • Discuss the issue of welfare/poverty. What would a sociological perspective take into account?  Please reflect on personal responsibility and agency vs. institutions and larger social structures (such as the government). Is it society’s role to intervene and provide assistance?  If so, to what extent?
  • Pick a social movement. Are multiple layers of oppression at work? Are groups of people systematically denied access to opportunities/resources/services?  Explain how these forms of discrimination create or maintain social stratification in society.  Finally, describe two specific social movement tactics that have been employed and your opinion on whether or not they are harmful or helpful to tackling the social problem.
  • Use the following article about the Aylmer twins to discuss how race is a social construct. Discuss how some other racial or ethnic groups have been perceived across space and time.  Do you perceive yourself as having “a race”? Is your life significantly affected by how others perceive your racial or ethnic background?  In what ways?  What stereotypes bother you most?
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