Freshman Sociology Test


Please answer both questions thoughtfully—that is support your answers with reasoning and analysis—examples help too.

1, what are the current and potential consequences of increasing social stratification in the US and in the world? Cite at least 2 examples with references, link to concepts in chapter 8 and 11, class lectures and discussions as you explain your answer. (Hint: the election may be one reason—if you explain why)

2, how is the changing role of woman changing the world? Using chap.’s 6 and 9 discuss two specific issues around woman’s rights and how they challenge society today–link to concepts used in the text and discussed in class—reference examples from current media sources. (Hint—inequality is too general, sexual assault is specific, more woman in college is too general, woman with MBA’s is specific)

Both questions are very real in today’s world making them sociological as patterns on how to live.


Current and Potential Consequences of Increasing Social Stratification in the US and in the World

Social stratification is the classified arrangement of social classes in the society based on factors such as gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Social stratification has taken root in the United States and this situation portends numerous potential consequences. Likewise, the whole world seems to have followed the same pattern. A person’s social class has far-reaching implications on the kind of live he/she leads in the United States. One’s position in the social hierarchy affects, for example, education, political participation, religion affiliation, and experiences with the criminal justice system. For instance, in the US, Black Americans have historically been seen to belong to the lowest social class, and this has always affected their experiences, especially their treatment by the law enforcement, with police brutality against them remaining noticeably high. The shooting of Keith Lamont and Terence Crutcher in September, 2016 by the police, which triggered nationwide demonstrations, is a typical example of the adverse consequences of social stratification.

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Another example is the recently concluded US presidential elections. The US electorate population has always been stratified into two major groups: Democrats, who are pro-immigration and middle-class interests, and Republicans who are mainly pro-wealthy business class conservative farmers other American groups whose members believe that they were the original owners of the United States and are thus deserving of a higher social status than the rest of the country’s population. President-elect Donald Trump belongs to the latter political party. One may argue that the outcomes of the election were affected primarily by his affluence and the role of perceptions of social stratification among Americans. However, some people argue that Trump’s main challenger and Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, lost the election by virtue of her gender. A conflict theory holds the claim that stratification is detrimental in society, and that inequality is normally promoted because it benefits the rich and powerful to the neglect of the poor. Looking abroad, one notices that many developing nations remain poor because they occupy the lowest stratum in the global scheme of social stratification in which wealthy nations like America occupy the highest positions.

How the Changing Role of Women is Changing the World

It is true that the role of women has changed a lot over the years. The way in which women are viewed today is much different from the way they were some decades back. Traditionally, women served as housewives and homemakers, having roles restricted to bearing and raising children and doing domestic chores such as cleaning and cooking. However, with time, educational opportunities for women as well as opportunities for employment and compensation have increased. Women are able to attend colleges and universities in equal numbers as men, to graduate with degrees, and to hold jobs in the corporate world.

Today, many women hold many powerful positions, and are challenging the traditional patriarchal word order in an attempt to change the world around them for the better. For example, Kathryn Sullivan, the US Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, is an immensely successful woman who has changed the world in numerous ways. She was part of NASA’s first class-selected astronauts and has flown three shuttle missions, becoming the first American woman to walk on the moon. Kathryn actively promotes the role of women in business, and according to her, huge improvements have been made towards gender inequality. However, she continues to challenge women to do more for the world.

Women have also taken over numerous leadership positions on the global stage, challenging men working in similar capacities to embrace the idea of equal rights for everyone regardless of gender. For instance, today there are several women presidents worldwide as well as leaders of international agencies. For example, the position of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is being held by a woman, Fatou Bensouda. These women are playing a critical role in changing the world one step at a time.

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