Professor Shortell's blog

Group Exercise: Parallel Play

Each group will identify three examples of parallel play in Greenpoint and make recommendations about how to create conditions that foster more social integration.

Group Exercise: Eight Years Later

Now that we've read the beginning of part II of the study, we can assess how the two groups have changed their views on the achievement ideology as a result of their experience.

Each group will be assigned either the Hallway Hangers or the Brothers. Your task will be to depict graphically the way that the HH or Brothers viewed the value of education at the start of the ethnography and then eight years later. How has experience changed their view? How would you depict that visually? Each group with create their depiction on one of the whiteboards and then we'll discuss the results.

Education and Occupational Aspirations

We'll try a group exercise to discuss the complex relationship between education and occupational aspirations. I'll divide the class into two groups. One group will adopt the perspective of the Brothers, the other groups will take on the Hallway Hangers. Each group will identify three arguments about why their view of schooling is correct, and try to persuade the other group they are right. Groups should make the arguments that you think the kids themselves would make in an argument with the others.

We'll then discuss various sociological explanations of why the two groups have such different perspectives on education, despite being in the same class location.

Each group will post their three arguments as a comment to this page. (Include everyone's name so that I can give everyone participation credit.)

About This Course

30 hours plus conference; 3 credits

Various class, estate, caste systems. Their influences on behavior and values. Their relation to political power, social prestige, consumption style. Social mobility.

Fall 2013
Note: I've changed the email address for my course sites to professor AT courseserve DOT info to reduce spam in my inbox. You can contact me at this address, or if you are a student in this course, login and use the contact form.

Americans, it is often said, don’t like to think in terms of social class. Class conflict is almost always portrayed as a highly undesirable situation. Our political culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as "middle class." Public discussions of inequality are often dismissed by pundits and politicians as "class war." None the less, Americans do experience social class — through family, work, leisure, and participation in, or exclusion from, public life. We are going to explore the sociological study of class stratification, in order to get some sense of the way our lives and contemporary institutions are structured by class-based inequality, including how race, ethnicity and gender intersect with economic inequality. We will look at both social theory and empirical studies of class phenomena.

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