1. The 3 major sociological theories are functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism. Compare the three mentioning how they differ from one another using specific examples.
2. According to C. Wright Mills, what is the “sociological imagination” and why is understanding that important in sociology?
3. How is poverty measured? Why are poverty statistics misleading? What are at least 3 consequences of growing up in poverty?
4. How do the 3 major sociological theories explain poverty?
5. Why do social scientists today consider “race” a social construct and tend to consider “race” more of a social category than a biological one?
6. What is the difference between individual and institutional discrimination and give 2 examples of each?
7. What is the difference between “sex” and “gender” and what does “socialization” have to do with how we understand gender in our culture?
8. How do “women of color” experience inequality differently than “white women?”
9. How does “heterosexism” contribute as a significant source of increasing “inequality?”
10. In a 2010 article, what did Biblarz and Stacey find in their study of children of same-sex couples and heterosexual couples?
11. Think about an older person whom you know. To what extent has this person experienced psychological aging? To what extent has this person experienced social aging?
12. Do you agree that binge drinking is a problem that campuses should address, or do you think that it’s a relatively harmless activity that lets students have some fun? Explain your answer.
13. If we say that males commit more crime than females, does that imply that we are prejudiced against males? Why or why not?
14. Of the five strategies outlined in the text to reduce crime, which one strategy do you think would be most effective if it were implemented with adequate funding? Explain your answer.
15. The text notes that most people eventually marry. In view of the fact that so many marriages end in divorce, why do you think that so many people continue to marry?
16. Review how the functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist perspectives understand and explain education. Which of these three approaches do you most prefer? Why?
17. Which of the three major sociological approaches to understanding work and the economy do you most prefer? Why?
18. Use conflict theory to understand health and health care? Explain your answer.
19. Americans often seem to blame city residents for many of the problems affecting US cities today, including low academic achievement and rundown conditions in city schools and crime in the streets. Do you think it is fair to blame city residents for these problems, or are there other reasons for them? Explain your answer.
20. How much of the environmental racism that exists do you think is intentional? Explain your answer.
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