Sociology Discussion Questions With Answers

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.

 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.

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).

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.

Using the concept of biological and symbolic family ties, explain how you know who to call your “family.”

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.


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