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RUNNING HEADER: SOCIOLOGY QUESTIONS 1

Sociology Questions

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Sociology Questions 2

1. Discuss the Impact of social class on the life chances of children, including a

discussion and examples of social capital and parenting practices.

Individuals in modern society strive to obtain possessions that many deem desirable.

The commodities in question may be economic or cultural but range from social activities,

healthcare, housing, and education. These products are scarcely distributed, which means that

those in the lowest strata of society with lower income will have their children go through

lower levels of education and healthcare. Social capital often entails social networks between

persons and characterized by cooperation, reciprocity, and trust. For instance, a parent might

decide to leave their child with a neighbor to watch over and vice versa, creating a symbiotic

relationship.

2. How has the U.S racial-ethnic composition been changing over time? What are the

implications of these changes for understanding the family?

Over the past two decades, an influx of new immigrants from Latin America and Asia

has changed the demographic makeup of the United States, enriching its phenotypic

diversity. As a result of this sudden change, there has been a blurring of lines through

intermarriages where mixed ancestry now becomes familiar. These changes imply that more

families are now made up of individuals from different cultural backgrounds, creating a

family that tries to strike a balance between the two. Children from such families often are

open-minded to the idea of diversity in families and readily appreciate the differences that

exist within the ethnicities in question.


Sociology Questions 3

3. Discuss the social construction of childhood, evaluating the experiences of children

throughout U.S history as a reflection of broader cultural values

Social construction is a phenomenon that society develops through social or cultural practice

and determining when a child is a child and when they eventually become adults. In the United

States, there is a clear distinction between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Ideas about

what is appropriate for children have changed drastically over the years as a result of cultural and

political struggles between wide arrays of groups all with different ideologies. In the 1900s, it

was common for children to work long hours in hazardous conditions, which is not the case

presently. Laws such as the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 serve as a reflection of the

broader cultural values of the United States that seeks to protect the innocence of children

(Sealander, 2003, p. 34).

4. The definition of family has changed over time as a result of legal, cultural and

institutional shifts. Discuss two ways that the definition of family has changed over

time and include three factors that have created this change.

The traditional conception of a family being nuclear has led to modifications in the definition of

this institution. Presently, same-sex couples and blended families do exist and are incorporated

into the broader definition of what makes a family (Corbett & Tasmanian Family Institute, 2004,

p. 45). The rise of single parenthood, same-sex marriages, and breadwinner dynamic are the

leading factors that led to this gradual change that has seen many nations in the contemporary

world accept the changes.

5. Using the concept of biological and symbolic family ties, explain how you know who to

call your family.


Sociology Questions 4

An ethnographic study on families often reveals that natural family relationships are

forged between individuals who share genotypic compositions. On the flipside, some persons

might have spent considerable time together or grow up in the same household devoid of

familial ties. In both cases, people might call each other family owing to the connection

that they have cultivated over the years.


Sociology Questions 5

References

Corbett, A., & Tasmanian Family Institute. (2004). What is a family?: And why it matters :

achieving a workable definition. Launceston, Tas: Tasmania Family Institute.

Sealander, J. (2003). The failed century of the child: Governing America's young in the

twentieth century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.