Discussion Questions

  1. Watch this film--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM--and respond to the following questions: (1) how is wealth distributed in American society; (2) how is this distribution influenced by social forces; (3) how do you define “The American Dream” and do you think it still exists; (4) is it possible to reverse this trend, and why or why not?
  2. Read this article--http://www.marketwatch.com/story/doing-this-in-college-will-make-you-dumber-and-richer-2017-09-22--and respond to the following questions: (1) how does participating in a fraternal organization benefit the member; (2) do you think this issue would be best understood using a functionalist or a conflict perspective, and why; (3) what prevalent ideologies in American society grant permission to fraternities to persist; (4) do you think that the benefits of fraternities outweigh the costs (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/03/the-dark-power-of-fraternities/357580/), and why or why not?
  3. Watch this film--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxPX_uJ36bg--and respond to the following questions: (1) what was the Contract Buyers League; (2) how did housing discrimination contribute to racial segregation in Chicago; (3) how is this historical practice perpetuating inequalities in housing in Chicago today; (4) how might John Rawls view this issue?
  4. Read or listen to this story--http://www.npr.org/2016/03/29/471347542/living-from-rent-to-rent-tenants-on-the-edge-of-eviction--and respond to the following questions: (1) how might the threat of eviction influence one’s opportunities for success in society; (2) do you think the government or private businesses should contribute more to struggling families, or is each family ultimately responsible for their own place in society; (3) do you agree with Desmond’s findings on the correlation between neighborhood-level prevalence crime and eviction rates; (4) is there ever a circumstance when a landlord should forgive a tenant’s ability to pay rent, and let them stay? Explain.