Read Kotlowitz, pp. 155-178, Chapters 17 & 18. One question this week.  It needs to be considered carefully and you need to show you understand each of the events mentioned & the social institutions involved.  Three events:1) The boys’ experiences at the Chicago Black Hawks game. 2) LaJoe’s trip downtown with the children to see the stores’ Christmas windows. 3) The events surrounding Terence’s prosecution for armed robbery.Each of these events has many details, like a jigsaw puzzle.  For each of these, indicate how the institutions involved affected the family.  To be very clear, your answer must include information about the event, then identify the institutions, and then explain how the family was affected. I want to be sure you don’t think just saying what happened is going to answer the question.  Your understanding of the effects of the social institutions involved on this family needs to be shown.SOCIAL INSTITUTIOINS ARE:  FAMILY, EDUCATION, WORK,  GOVERNMENT, HEALTH CARE, THE ECONOMY, MEDIA, SPORT,  RELIGION
Read Kotlowitz, pp. 155-178, Chapters 17 & 18. One question this week. It needs to be considered carefully and you need to show you understand each of the events mentioned & the social insti

Read Kotlowitz, pp. 155-178, Chapters 17 & 18. One question this week. It needs to be considered carefully and you need to show you understand each of the events mentioned & the social insti
Social Inequality – Week 1 – 1st Reading By V. Smerglia Many things I’m going to say here you know, but in a different way than you are being asked to look at them now. So, be patient!! First, have you eaten lasagna? Or, at least, seen lasagna? DepositPhotos If so, you get the idea of social stratification. Layers!! Just like the layers of meat, cheese, sauce, and pasta, society is layered! Society is layered by class, race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, religion, and physical appearance. In other words, higher social prestige is given to people of upper classes than to middle and lower classes. More social prestige is given to persons in middle classes than to persons in lower classes. You know this. Lebron and Lady Gaga can most likely get restaurant reservations or concert tickets or all kinds of services that your doctor or your teacher or your helpful associate at the cell phone store can’t get or have to wait in a long line to get. And, that is because the celebrities have a higher level of prestige in society, part of a higher social class than your doctor, teacher, or cell phone helper. Again, you knew this before you came into this class although you may not have thought of it as layering (social stratification)! And, you may or may not have considered that the outcome of this stratification is social inequality! The ability of Lebron and Lady Gaga to have deferential treatment makes most of the rest of us their social unequals! (By the way, showing deference, an important concept for social inequality, means being admiring, respectful, submissive). So, social inequality is partly the result of layering by differing amounts of social prestige. Later, we will examine the role of social power which is closely related. Again, social prestige is layering (stratification) in society on the basis of many characteristics: class, race or ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or perceived physical attractiveness. Sociologists, you will find, have documented inequality in all these categories with research. For example, a number of graduate students have tried going into stores as themselves, 20-somethings, and then returning and saying exactly the same things to the clerks, but with makeup that makes them look old. Surprise, clerks aren’t as helpful or patient or understanding of the older person as they are of the younger person, even with all other aspects of the interchange being equal. So, in this course, we will consider how society becomes layered, how social power is distributed among the layers and what some outcomes will be. For this first reading, I would also like to make sure you understand a macroscopic term: institution. An institution is a large social structure made up of values, beliefs, norms, statuses, roles, and sanctions which fulfills a need in society. The social institutions are listed in the learning objectives in your syllabus and they are: government, work/business, economy, education, family, health care, religion, media, sport, leisure. The reason understanding institutions is so critical is because they are the main or supporting social structures in any society. They often maintain social inequalities and transfer them. For example, within the institution of family, beliefs about other groups and norms of behavior toward them are passed down through generations. This is how racial and ethnic, gender, and most biases “stay alive.” For example, my father was Irish. His grandparents came to the U.S. from Northern Ireland, where most people are Protestant. His mother was taught to dislike (to put it very mildly) Irish Catholics who came from the lower, independent, part of Ireland. His mother passed those prejudices on by constantly reminding her sons they should not date Catholic girls. My uncle ignored that and married a wonderful Irish Catholic girl (my late aunt). I think my grandmother got over it but my aunt’s parents did not. They never forgave her for marrying a Protestant man and she was considered living in sin. All passed on through the institution of family. One more example: the institution of education. It was not so long ago that women were not admitted into engineering degree programs or into pre-med programs. Most women who went to college became teachers, nurses, social workers, jobs that seemed fitting for women, who were supposed to become wives/mothers. That has changed but the institution of education still supports some social inequalities. As we travel through this course, I hope you will look for examples of inequality that you see around you and think about how they are often maintained within social institutions. Above, I mentioned Lebron and Lady Gaga, who are connected to the institutions of Sport and Leisure (entertainment). The people who work behind the scenes in their lives, like sound system techs, trainers, make-up artists, scenery designers, and other production of the entertainment often do not have huge salaries and may have to scramble to put together enough work to live, Yet, the “stars” wouldn’t shine nearly as brightly without their important work!




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