Video and Multimedia

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Video Links

  • Close to Home 
    During the early years of the current recession documentary filmmaker Ofra Bikel brought her cameras and recording equipment to Deborah Hair Design, a salon on the Upper East Side that caters to a relatively affluent population. In this Frontline special she shows how the recession has affected Deborah, the salon owner, as well as the clientele—who are now going longer between appointments and foregoing their regular services in an effort to stretch their budgets.
  • Bill Moyers- Expose on the Business of Poverty 
    Poverty has become big business in the United States as a number of corporations have found ways to fill the “need” many poor people have for credit/financing. This investigative report describes predatory lending practices that specifically target poor people.  
  • West Virginia, Still Home 
    This short video from the New York Times profiles economically depressed McDowell County, W. Virginia. The area offers few economic opportunities and so its young people are moving away. It depicts an unfortunate cycle that is difficult to halt, much less reverse.

Audio Links

  • This American Life 331: Habeas Schmabeas 2007 
    The right of habeas corpus has been a part of our country's legal tradition longer than we've actually been a country. It means that our government has to explain why it's holding a person in custody. But now, the War on Terror has nixed many of the rules we used to think of as fundamental. At Guantanamo Bay, our government initially claimed that prisoners should not be covered by habeas—or even by the Geneva Conventions—because they're the most fearsome enemies we have. But is that true? Is it a camp full of terrorists, or a camp full of our mistakes? In Act one, Jack Hitt explains how President Bush's War on Terror changed the rules for prisoners of war and how it is that under those rules, it'd be possible that someone whose classified file declares that they pose no threat to the United States could still be locked up indefinitely—potentially forever!—at Guantanamo.  Act two explains that Habeas corpus began in England. And recently, 175 members of the British parliament filed a "friend of the court" brief in one of the U.S. Supreme Court cases on habeas and Guantanamo—apparently, the first time in Supreme Court history that's happened. In their brief, the members of Parliament warn about the danger of suspending habeas: "During the British Civil War, the British created their own version of Guantanamo Bay and dispatched undesirable prisoners to garrisons off the mainland, beyond the reach of habeas corpus relief." In London, reporter Jon Ronson, goes in search of what happened. Act three explains that though more than 200 prisoners from the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay have been released, few of them have ever been interviewed on radio or on television in America. Jack Hitt conducts rare and surprising interviews with two former Guantanamo detainees about life in Guantanamo.
  • This American Life 62:  Something for Nothing 
    Theoretically, all members of a class system, no matter how destitute they are, can rise to the top.  In practice, however, mobility between classes may be difficult for some people.  The stories presented in this episode are of people trying to get rich quick, or otherwise make something for nothing. As everyone knows, there's no such thing as something for nothing. You always pay a price.
  • Invisible Workforce: An Undocumented Immigrant Caregiver Shares Her Story 
    Many of those who provide home healthcare services are undocumented immigrants. This clip considers the relationship between Josey, a woman from Fiji and Florence, her elderly employer.
  • Songs of 2012 Mirror Economic Struggle 
    This Marketplace segment examines how grim economic realities and financial struggle were reflected in popular music of 2012
  • Though Choices: How the Poor Spend Money 
    This Marketplace segment examines how those at the economic margins make decisions about how to allocate their scant economic resources.

Web Resources

Professional Resources

  • Sociology of Education 
    The study of economic inequality is so fundamental to sociology that there is no American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on economic inequality per se. Many members of the ASA Section on Sociology of Education are fundamentally interested in poverty and economic inequality as it is mediated, ameliorated, or reproduced by educational institutions.
  • Race, Gender, and Class 
    Connections between race, gender, and class inequality are addressed by the ASA Section Race, Gender, and Class.
  • Marxist Sociologists 
    Marxist Sociologists, of course, are greatly concerned with these issues.
  • Journal of Poverty 
    Research on economic inequality regularly appears in all general sociology journals. A journal devoted entirely to the issue of poverty is the Journal of Poverty.

Data Resources

  • The National Longitudinal Surveys 
    The National Longitudinal Surveys of the U.S. Department of Labor’ s Bureau of Labor Statistics gather detailed information about labor market experiences and other aspects of the lives of American men and women.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services 
    The Department of Health and Human Services has a Web page on poverty guidelines, research, and measurement, which includes information about how Mollie Orshansky developed the poverty thresholds during the 1960s.
  • The Panel Study of Income Dynamics 
    The Panel Study of Income Dynamics is a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of U.S. men, women, and children and the families in which they reside. Data on employment, income, wealth, health, housing, food expenditures, transfer income, and marital and fertility behavior have been collected annually since 1968.
  • The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study 
    The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study is a study of the social and economic life course of 10,000 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957, and who have been followed up at ages 25, 36, and 53–54.

Other Resources

  • Michael Kearl’s Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace 
    Michael Kearl’s Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace: Social Inequality. This contains more information and links on social inequality than you will be able to handle. Something for everyone. Happy Surfing!
  • Inequality 
    Does income and wealth inequality matter? Why is it happening? What can be done? Despite the emerging consensus over the fact of rising inequality, there is still wide divergence of opinion over its sources - and potential solutions. was created to serve as a dependable portal of information. Too much inequality, we believe, undermines democracy, community, culture and economic health. Because the problem is so important, accuracy is important, and we are committed to presenting the best and latest information [self-characterization].
  • The 
    Many objectives of welfare reform are played out on the state and local level. The Web site is devoted to political news on a statewide level. It includes links to political news briefs in each of the 50 states. The welfare reform section at this site provides up-to-date information on the status of hot issues in welfare reform on a statewide level [self-characterization].
  • The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) 
    The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security.  To achieve this goal, EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America.  EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers.