Use of sociology in understanding the course of a problem

This exam covers all readings, course activities, and lecture content assigned from Modules 1 through 3. Choose three of the five questions below. For each question chosen, write an essay response of 250-300 words. In your response, be sure to refer to specific concepts from the readings, lecture notes, and/or discussions, and use these concepts to support your points. Please state the question prior to your answer.

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    1. Choose a social problem, and explain how the sociological imagination, as defined by C. Wright Mills, can be used to understand the causes and consequences of that problem. Be sure that you address and apply the components of the sociological imagination in your response.


    1. Explain what is meant by the terms “ascribed status” and “achieved status.” Discuss a specific example that illustrates how a person’s ascribed status could influence his or her achieved status.


    1. Compare and contrast Karl Marx’s and Max Weber’s theories of social class. Explain which theory you think is more accurate and why.


    1. What are the key components of culture? Discuss at least three components of culture, giving specific examples of each component.


  1. Why is socialization so important to the development of our self-concept? Explain the role of socialization in shaping our lives, using at least three concepts from the course material in your explanation.
  • Introduction to Sociology, Chapter 3, Sections 3.4 and 3.5
  • Introduction to Sociology, Chapter 4, Section 4.5
  • Read Chapters 1, 3, and 7 in MacLeod, Jay. (2009). Ain’t no makin’ it: Aspirations and attainment in a low-income neighborhood. (3rd ed.) Boulder, CO: West View Press.
  • Read Chapters 1 and 2 in Read Trout, D. D. (2013). The price of paradise: The costs of inequality and a vision for a more equitable America. New York, NY: NYU Press.
  • Wicks-Lim, J. (2012). The working poor: A booming demographic. New Labor Forum 21(3): 17-25.
  • AAUW. (2014). The simple truth about the gender pay gap.
  • Introduction to Sociology, Chapter 2, Sections 2.1 – 2.6 and Chapter 2 Summary
  • Introduction to Sociology, Chapter 4, Sections 4.1 – 4.4, and 4.10
  • Haslam, S. & Reicher, S. D. (2012). Contesting the “Nature” Of Conformity: What Milgram and Zimbardo’s Studies Really Show. Plos Biology, 10(11), 1-4. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001426

n the Real World


  • Introduction to Sociology, Chapter 1, Sections 1.1 – 1.6 and Chapter 1 Summary
  • Innis, J. (2010). Culture and visiting the doctor’s office. Everyday Sociology Blog. Retrieved from
  • Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.
    • Read Chapter 1


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