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Sociological theories and perspectives.

1.1. During this course, we have discussed structure and agency many times and related it to various sociological theories. Choose one reading each that you think demonstrates the strongest support for structure and agency respectively, and logically and persuasively describe why you have made your decision. You must describe enough of the material in the reading to be able to draw your conclusions. The two readings you select must be from weeks four through six (race, education, or gender/sexuality).

2. 2. Racial discrimination in the United States is often described as stemming from the individual, or in sociological terms, stemming from the agentic level. However, this agentic understanding is problematic. Apply Mills’ theory of the sociological imagination to two readings or movie (not including Bonilla-Silva) from week four to describe how this agentic understanding of racial discrimination is problematic. Then compare and contrast Mills’ and Bonilla-Silva’s in terms of their structural understanding of racism.

3. 3. Compare and contrast the likelihood of social mobility for an individual beginning in poverty to become part of the upper middle class according to the theories of Collins and Lareau. Given the information from Ivory Tower and Defies Measurement, how likely is education to serve as a stepping stone for such an individual in this contemporary moment and why?

4. 4. Use Risman’s work to discuss gender and sexuality in terms of boundary work and a complication of a gendered dichotomy. You must draw upon Pascoe and Nanda to use as examples. How would Mills’ sociological imagination be applied to boundary work and a gendered dichotomy?

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Category: Sample Questions