1) Explain the Systems of Stratification beginning with SLAVERY; be thorough, ESPECIALLY WITH THE CLASS SYSTEM.
When social inequality prevails in the society then stratification arises. Stratification paves the way to the unequal power, authority and rewards. Poverty is the biggest cause of stratification, and it arises because of the class system prevailing in the society that paves the way to the ascribed and achieved statuses. On the ascribed status, the individual does not have any control. Examples are the race and sex. The achieved status is acquired by an individual on the basis of efforts, abilities and skills. Such statuses results in inequality, in the society, some people turn rich and other just remain poor, which become slaves of the rich. In most of the developing countries, the poor workers are imprisoned in the employment for lifetime. Moreover, in some countries the human beings are completely owned as slaves. The poverty backed by the class system is continuously increasing the system of stratification in the society and still there is no definite solution of this problem.
2) Read about Karl Marx's perspective on Social Stratification. Briefly dramatize those views in an imaginary situation (story) that will illustrate the following four terms: proletariat, bourgeoisie, false consciousness, and class consciousness.
Considering Karl Marx’s perspective on the social stratification, an example of this perspective is that the capitalist i.e., bourgeoisie may award a prize or promotion to the worker i.e., proletariat. However, the worker may believe that the owner/ capitalist is not taking undue benefit of the working class, chiefly because the worker is given reward and thought that he is advancing up the leader of social class. However, as a matter of fact, the owner has taken advantage of the worker because the owner has compensated the worker in order to make him believe that he will have the opportunity to earn better irrespective the fact that there is only a minor increment in the income. This is false consciousness, where the workers are not able to understand the actual happenings. The workers may form their union to defend themselves that the capitalists are exploiting them.
3) Read the essay "What Is Poverty?" by Jo Goodwin Parker. Briefly answer the following questions:a) What was your reaction to it? b) What was the most powerful part of the essay?
Goodwin Parker’s essay “What is Poverty” has explicitly explained the suffering and misery associated with poverty. I personally believe that poverty is just like dirt. Although I am not living in poor condition, yet I can feel how exhausting it is to face the minor problems and troubles with apparently no hope. After reading the easy, I develop feelings of respect for her, instead of feeling pity. There are many families living in my country that are poorer and are living in critical conditions. Moreover, I do not agree with one of the Goodwin Parker’s argument that poverty is indicating towards a dark future. The future is not predictable, and we are not aware of what will or will not happen.
The most powerful part of the essay is the argument that “poverty is cooking without food and washing without soap.” The writer has used connotative language and is successful in creating several images that show harsh realities of life when people are living in poor conditions. The language has aroused the emotions and compels the reader to think about the poor, who they are and how they manage to live.
4) Read the newspaper article "Occupy Wall Street's May Day Protest in NYC".
Briefly answer the following six questions:
a) How does this movement illustrate Karl Marx's class consciousness?
b) Briefly explain Max Weber's point of view.
c) Why would you agree or disagree with Karl Marx and Max Weber ?
d) Summarize the views of the interactionist perspective, functionalist perspective, and conflict perspective.
e) What is your opinion of each? (please answer based on the fact that I am NOT in favor of the conflict perspective; and that even though I AM AN INTERACTIONIST, the functionalist perspective is okay)
f) What social class would you put yourself in. Why? (please answer based on an Interactionist Perspective).
The newspaper article, “Occupy Wall Street’s may Day “ illustrate Karl Marx’s class consciousness in a way that the workers are affected by the improper treatment of the owners and so in order to fight for their right, they decided to protest for their rights. Moreover, according to Marx, society is characterized by the class conflict. The movement i.e., Occupy Wall Street, has emphasized on the class conflict by stressing on the disparities with immigrants, so paving the way to the union of the immigrants.
Max Weber’s point of view is on “Occupy Wall Street's May Day Protest in NYC” is that the capitalism is similar to the attainment of profit and this profit is renewed over and over again. Hence, the organizations have to take the benefits from the opportunities that present profit maximizing opportunities, otherwise they will move to extinction. So, in his view the organizations and the owners are rightfully taking advantages of workers.
I agree with the views of Karl Marx because I believe that the capitalists are exploiting workers and the workers should recognize their rights and raise voice against the cruel owners.
The functionalists consider that the social changes like that of Occupy Wall Street’s May Day is undesirable. The functionalists seek order, harmony and consensus in the society.
The Conflict perspective is that such changes and conflicts of workers with their employees are necessary for a democratic state and society because they help people to avail freedom and helps in the economic stability.
The internationalists are of the view that instead of looking at the large structures the micro-structures should be considered. Better and fruitful results can be achieved when interactions are made with the people and small group over the passage of time.
In my opinion, the interactionist’s perspective is better because it presents the solution of resolution of conflict that will help in the solving the problem. I consider that if a smaller group of people are asked about their problems then it is possible to solve their problems easily and timely. This will also control the strikes and protests.
5) Briefly explain the following six terms: poverty, absolute poverty, poverty line, relative poverty, feminization of poverty, and underclass.
Poverty is the name of scarcity, when someone lacks the material possession of things or have no. the term Absolute poverty indicates a situation when people are deprived of the basic needs i.e., water, food, shelter and clothes, etc. relative poverty indicates the economic inequality, which may be in a society or in particular location where people resides.
Poverty line is the minimum income level that is required to secure the basic amenities of life.
Feminization of poverty represents women in the world, which are suffering from poverty. Underclass is the lowest strata in the country comprising of unemployed and poor people.
6) Briefly answer the following five questions:
a) How many people are in poverty ?
b) How does the minimum wage affect poverty?c) Who are the poor?
d) What are the probable root causes of poverty?e) What roles do race and gender play in poverty?
In the world, approximately about 50% or 3 billion people are living on below $2.50 a day. The minimum wage exert adverse influence on the earnings and employment, it targets the poor inefficiently and is not effective in controlling poverty because instead of decreasing unemployment it increases it. Improper structural adjustments are the root cause of the poverty. The structural adjustments include educational facilities, health facilities and the other social facilities and services. Race and gender are the significant elements that are responsible for poverty. Both these factors result in wage gap difference between males and females in the racialized as well as in non-racialized population that ultimately increase poverty.
7) Based on President Obama's Inequality Speech, briefly answer the following three questions:
a) What main points does he make?
b) What statistics stand out the most?
c) What can be done to lessen inequality in America?
President Obama has made several important points in his speech. The noteworthy among them are that he has emphasized on the social equality. He has stressed that the Americans should consider themselves as a vital part of one community with shared values and norms. The statistics of inequality stands out the most in President’s speech. He has cleared the fact that a child, who is born in the top 20%, has a little chance i.e., 2 in 3 for staying at the top or near to it. A person born in bottom 20% has a chance of 1 in 20 for moving to the top. In order to promote equality the system of merit, performance, and effort should be promoted. The performance and the hardworking of people should be regarded. Example of Abraham Lincoln is worth mentioning in this regard, who was the son of a poor man and with his hardworking he has ruled the country.