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SOC 101 MVCC Social Class Influences Question

I’m working on a writing report and need support to help me learn.

Chapter 8:  Social Class in the United States

You are being asked to compose an essay which combines information from the text with your own family background as well as the documentary “Growing Up Poor In America” on PBS.  This paper is in part autobiographical in nature as well as sociological.  Please compose this essay (not just answers to the questions) based around the following three points. 

  • Using Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl’s model of social class, identify your family’s social class position on the social class ladder.  What general factors are you using to place your family in that position?  (Look in Chapter 8) Also, note any examples of status inconsistency. 
    • Essentially, you want to demonstrate your understanding of these topics
    • (I realize this is very personal information so please note I am the only one reading it.)
  • Contrast/compare that with the families in the film.  What was their social mobility?  What (if any) were examples of status inconsistencies?  Do you see any comparisons with their stories to yours? Do the children in the film seem to have a positive or negative view of their own social mobility? 
  • Imagine (or predict) the social class you see yourself belonging to when you are settled (whatever that means to you), while discussing whether it is the same as or different than your family’s current social class position.   Why do you think so?  
  • Consider all of the advantages/disadvantages your family’s current social class position provides or poses in helping to determine the social class to which you see yourself belonging when you are that age.  In other words, how has your family’s economic/social position helped you or hindered you in transitioning from where you are now to the place you imagine yourself being when you are settled (is that 35?  45? 50?)?  It’s up to you.  


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