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Differential Treatment of Individuals within Society

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When I was a graduate student in my Master's program, I was required to complete several "pilot" studies which contained research papers in APA format and some test construction. For these studies, I first had to do a lot of research on the topics in the library. My favorite study looked at sex differences in the treatment of men and women in a public place. I enlisted the help of three men from different age groups (20, 35, 50 years old) and three women from different age groups (20, 36, 52 years old). My six subjects were required to wear very casual clothing on the first "treatment" day at the mall. One at a time, each subject pushed their way up the wrong way on an escalator at a local mall. Meanwhile, I had six proctors listening in and documenting the behaviors and comments of mall patrons.

The second day of treatment, all six subjects wore very nice business attire. They did the same thing, pushed their way up the escalator the wrong way, while my proctors documented behaviors and statements made by patrons. This was repeated for both males and females three times each on three different days. The results were interesting to say the least. I just wish I could have video if not just for posterity. Here were my results:

All women, no matter what age and no matter what they wore, were treated almost with disdain and several rude comments were made to them. Some were not allowed to pass.

All men dressed well no matter what age, were allowed to pass, and actually "helped" to get through faster, as if they certainly had somewhere important to go. The 20-year old casually dressed male was treated badly. (He was my younger brother; I told him that he deserved it). The men ages 35 and 50 who were dressed casually were also treated with respect and allowed to pass without rude comments.

After about an hour of my "confederates" rushing the escalator, I had my proctors distributing surveys about how observers felt about rude people and what should be done about their behavior! Only 32% of those asked, agreed to complete the survey. The majority of responses felt that rude people should be ignored and just given "the stink eye". (The giving of the stink eye was one of the choices of wording that I decided to include at the last minute. In some parts of the country it should be called "mad dogging".)

Well that was my pilot study. In the results section, I wanted to see future research on how different cultures are treated (Two female subjects in the study were Caucasian, one was Hispanic. Of my three male subjects, two were Caucasian and one was African American). This was conducted in 1990.

Would the results be the same today? What search items could be done in a literature review?

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Solution Preview

I think that the results would be very similar today, due to the fact that women are still treated differently than men in respect to the level of fairness and equity that they receive in society. This includes differences in the pay that women receive, who are doing the same job that their male counterparts are, which goes to reason that this unequal treatment ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes how individuals are treated differently based upon their culture.