1. What is assimilation? Using conflict theory, explain how some minorities have a harder time assimilating into U.S. culture than others.
2. Much of the blame for poverty is often placed on the poor themselves, accusing them of welfare dependency, unwillingness to work, etc., though research shows that a very small percentage of the poor are actually shiftless, and most actually work very hard for the little they get. Explain some of the external forces contributing to poverty in the United States today, including what you know about ascribed and achieved statuses in your response.
3. We often hear in the media about the gender pay gap, which is currently being reported as women earning 81 cents to a man’s dollar. How is this number calculated? Describe (at least four) reasons why women earn less than men.
4. Using symbolic interactionism, explain how social channeling is used to prepare children for life in their particular social class.
5. What is institutional discrimination? Give an example, and, using functionalism, explain how affirmative action is used to address this type of discrimination.
6. Using the theory of McDonaldization, explain how we are socialized to be active participants (and possibly promoters of) a McDonaldized society, giving specific examples from your own experiences.
7. Using the theory of your choice, explain how victims of sexual harassment often do not report that they have been victimized.