Soc101 Week 3 Assignment

Unformatted text preview: Social Class in the US How would you categorize the types of knowledge? How and where would someone acquire and learn this knowledge? How do you gain access to the people and places this can be learned? Is this access generally equal in the US? You as a Social Being On which questionnaires did you have the most and least marks? Were you surprised by the outcome? Do you have equal access to the people and places required to acquire knowledge you currently do not have? Conclusions What conclusions can you make about the nature of the hidden knowledge necessary to be successful in each social class? Social Class in the US Here in the United States we have three typical social classes in society. Our text indicates that, “social class is a mechanism to indicate a person’s status in society, usually based upon income and wealth” (Durkin & Carrothers, pg. 13). The majority of people including myself have come to know them as the lower, middle and upper classes. I believe I would keep the categorization the same for now if I had to label them given my knowledge of the various classes from personal experience. In our text, knowledge is defined as “The common or scientific basis for knowing about something” (Durkin & Carrothers, pg. 24). Knowledge will obviously vary from one class to another, but if you are an upper class citizen you may not know how to survive with very little such as someone in the lower or middle classes and vice versa. Everyone is already born into a certain class whether they know it or not, but that does not mean one is destined to stay in that class as I believe everyone has the will to change things for the better if they wish with education and hard work. I do find it more difficult for people to move up in the classes as opposed to moving down given our economics at the moment though. You as a Social Being I found the questionnaire to be really interesting and amusing at the same time because at one point or another I have lived as all three classes. I scored the highest in the middle and poverty class, but also scored more than half in the upper class as well. If I had to put myself into a category I would say that I am in the middle class. I believe the middle class is where the majority of society is considered to be given their common economic problems and equal opportunities. Conclusion Regardless of who you are or where you’re from social class doesn’t define a person in my opinion. I think it’s important to stay humble even if you rise to the top. People forget very quickly what’s it’s like to struggle when they come into money and those that come from money don’t really give it a second thought to what life would be like without it. If anything, life teaches us that in an instant our lives can change for the better or worse and those who take advantage will have a very harsh lesson to learn. “The structure of society will strongly influence one’s opportunities on the economic field of play – whether wealth provides status and privilege or poverty limits life chances for economic and personal success” (Durkin & Carrothers, pg. 23). References Durkin, K. F., & Carrothers, R. M. (2015). Sociology: Beyond common sense [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Jeff Quitney. (2013, November 18). Social class in America 1957 McGraw-Hill text-films [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvCv-WdFlQo&feature=youtu.be Payne, R. (2005). Knowledge of the hidden rules of social class: A questionnaire. Adapted from A Framework for Understanding Poverty (4th ed.). Denver, CO: Aha Process Inc. Social Construction What is social construction? Which example from the resources provided did you find most compelling in building your knowledge of social construction? Describe it and explain why you found it most useful. Social construction might seem confusing to some, but really it’s just a way for society to give segregation (race, gender, language, class, color, food, etc.) meaning through social interaction. It’s how people view and make sense of others and things so they create labels to help understand whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. I found the video “Social Construction” to be the most helpful to my understanding of what social construction actually is. In the video the United States flag is used as an example. “A symbol is a thing that stands for another thing” (Social Image, 2008). When we look at the United States flag what do you see or think of? For those of us who are American citizens we see the United States, freedom and will associate other things with it such as the Statue of Liberty, service members serving their country the colors red, white and blue, and so forth. This proves that there are many aspects of social construction. Race still seem to be one of the biggest social construction issues we face in society not just in the United States. When American’s see people from the Middle East we automatically connect them to the 911 terrorist acts, Iraq, Al Qaeda and the Islam religion, but not everyone from there is a terrorist, we just assume people are a certain way because we are afraid and ignorant of what’s different. References Durkin, K. F., & Carrothers, R. M. (2015). Sociology: Beyond common sense [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ Social Images. (2008, September 16). Social Construction [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVVWmZAStn8&feature=youtu.be ...
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The Interconnection of Social Problems 2 Authors Weelock and Uggen argue in their research that African Americans are more likely to be incarcerated than whites. When looking at the statistics and the numbers laid out in front of us, this absolutely does seem to be the case. Not only are minorities more likely to be incarcerated but criminal sanctions are creating a system of disadvantage and leave individuals living in poverty. The punishment that we give to criminals not only affects them personally but everyone around them whether within their family or within their community. Individuals who do live in poverty and have lower skills/education are more likely to be criminals but the bigger picture that collateral sanctions is creating is a life long sentence of being left on the bottom for all formerly or recently convicted and will unlikely have the ability to move up the social latter in life. Crime and punishment interact to form a system of social and economic disadvantage that may help account for recent fluctuations in inequality. Authors Wheelock and Uggen stated that, “ Criminal sanctions and victimization work to form a system of disadvantage that perpetuates stratification and poverty” (Wheelock, Uggen, 2005). In other words, when we do or have criminally punish individuals, it has essentially had an adverse effect that has created the worsening of racial and ethnic inequality in many social institutions. I feel that racial inequality has been in many social institutions since the beginning, and it hasn't changed in today’s correctional system. If you think about it, many ethnic groups or races that walk into a correctional facility are already at a disadvantage in general. Many young men in different ethnic groups or of color are already at a disadvantage when it comes to their education. Since minorities usually have a lower level of education, they are far more likely than any other social group to be incarcerated (Wheelock, Uggen, 2005). Hispanics and even African Americans criminals are punished more harshly for their behaviors so in turn this can create a bigger wrap sheet for them. Since these individuals are more likely to have more infractions on their record, they will more likely be serving longer sentences than

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