Discussion Questions

1. Were you surprised to learn that among rich nations, life expectancy in the United States is among the lowest? Explain. What sociological theory best explains this fact? Support your answer.


2. How has the social class of your parents and your upbringing influenced your success in school and your professional aspirations?


3. What is the social status of most of the people with whom you hang out? Why do you think you tend to associate with people from this social status?


4. Describe factors at the (a) micro, (b) meso, and (c) macro levels that impact your ability to move up the social class ladder.


5. How do the forces that have led to the shrinking of the middle class impact your chance of becoming (or remaining) a member of the (a) middle, (b) upper-middle, or (c) upper class after you graduate from college?


6. How can bridging the global digital divide lead to a decrease in inequality across the world? How does your ready access (or lack of access) to a com­puter and the Internet impact your life chances?