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Social Problems

I need help answering 9 questions for Social Problems:

I need some assistance answering and understanding the following 9 questions. No special structure. Any help would be appreciated.

1. What are the causes of prejudice? What can be done to reduce prejudice in the United States? Be sure to use your textbook and discuss the theories of prejudice.

2. Compare and Contrast the various types of discrimination experienced by different groups in America (gender, racial, and sexual orientation). Use various statistics to explain differences in educational attainment, income, poverty rates, and any other factors you have noted in your readings. Are there any solutions to this problem? Explain. As always use your course materials in answering this question.

3. Discuss detail the theoretical explanations for war and terrorism in the World? Which one do you agree with most and why? Do you think there will ever be world peace? Why or Why not?

4. Discuss in detail some of the problems facing the United States education system. Compare these problems to the problems facing the welfare system in the United States. Which problems seem to be the most difficult to solve? What are some solutions to these problems? Be specific and go into detail.

5. What are some of the forms of discrimination faced by women? Be specific including employment issues and the second shift. Why do you think women earn less than men? What do you think could be done to reduce discrimination against women?

6. What are 5 major problems faced by families in America today? What can be done to reduce these problems? Be specific.

7. Why is health care a social problem? How does race, class, and gender affect health care?

8. Why is AIDS considered to be the largest global problem? How important is to be concerned about this global problem? What do you think needs to happen to reduce the spread of the virus and to help those who have it? Is there hope? Explain

9. Using everything you have learned explain the Hurricane Katrina disaster using the sociological perspective. Think about issues of race, poverty, bureaucracy, and social change. Be specific and be sure to use the websites for help on this one.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Excellent questions! One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to provide information from various source, along with links, which you can draw on for your final copies. This is the approach this response takes.

Let's take a closer look.

1. What are the causes of prejudice? What can be done to reduce prejudice in the United States? Be sure to use your textbook and discuss the theories of prejudice.

Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. The root word of prejudice is "pre-judge." It is "a set of attitudes which causes, supports, or justifies discrimination. Prejudice refers to a tendency to "over categorize." Prejudiced people respond to others in a more or less fixed way (Farley, 2000:18). http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm

Three theories are pursued in this chapter to explain prejudice. One looks at personality, one at social learning, and one at social structure.

1. Adorno

Adorno contends that people are prejudice because their prejudice meets certain needs associated with their personality. People do not become prejudiced simply based on negative encounters with members of different groups. Further, he argues, prejudiced people tend to be prejudiced towards a wide variety of groups. Adorno contends that the tendencies to be prejudice is associated with a particular personality type -- the authoritarian personality.

2. Social Learning and Conformity as a Cause of Prejudice

There is also the social context to consider when one attempts to understand prejudice. Social scientists who study social learning and conformity as causes of prejudice focus on the social environment within which people live. The social environment is important. One should note, adoption of prejudiced attitudes can occur throughout the life-cycle. People learn to be prejudice through socialization processes like internalization, modeling, and reward and punishment.

Values, including prejudices are internalized as people encounter various agents of socialization. Attitudes and behaviors are learned within a social context where agents of socialization are important (Farley, 2000:29-32).

1. The Family
The family is probably the most important of the agents of socialization. Family is responsible for, among other things, determining one's attitudes toward religion and establishing career goals.
2. The School
This agency is responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills and values in our society.
3. Peer Groups
Peers refer to people who are roughly the same age and/or who share other social characteristics (e.g., students in a college class).
4. Work
5. The State
6. Media

The effect on prejudice of television and the movies is substantial. The media's portrayal of racial and ethnic groups may be a person's principal source of information. Therefore, if the media communicates primarily in stereotypes and the viewer has little opportunity for personal contact with members of that minority, the probability of the stereotype becoming the reality to the viewer is high.
Hollywood movies have thoroughly dehumanized the nonwhite world. The whites, who are the exploiters, consistently show up as the "good guys." Whites are portrayed as the bearers of civilization and all that is just and humane. Their superiority is taken as the natural order of things, and their "justified" extermination of the nonwhites provides a "happy" ending (Kitano, 1985:52). http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm

3. Socioeconomic Status and Prejudice

Farley (2000:33-36) contends that there is a relatively strong relationship between ones social class and the level of prejudice. Higher levels of prejudice are seen in people of lower SES. There are a couple of logical explanations for this.

Education and Prejudice

Most research indicates that people with higher levels of education score lower on most measures of prejudice.
? One argument suggests that people with lower socio-economic (SES) backgrounds are more rigid thinkers. Farley (2000) argues that there is a relationship between prejudice and intolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. People of higher SES are often better educated and education is often seen as a way to breaking down oversimplified, stereotypical thinking. As we become better educated, we become better able to understand complex ideas and situations. (Farley, 2000:34).
? The apparent relationship between education and prejudice may also be due to other effects. Perhaps people with higher levels of education people simply know how to respond with politically correct answers regarding racial and ethnic issues, thus masking their true feelings (Farley, 2000:34).
? Status Insecurity and Prejudice. Another explanation resides in the relationship between status insecurity and prejudice. If, in fact, a person who is more status insecure is prejudice one can easily see why people from lower SES positions are more prone to prejudice.
? Lower SES and Prejudice. Lower SES representatives of the dominate group are placed in more direct competition for resources with minorities. Lower SES members of majority groups experience a greater threat from minority competition (http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm)

For a broader discussion see http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm.

(b) What can be done to reduce prejudice in the United States?

Education is important to increase public awareness is important. Promoting diversity initiatives which encourage inclusion instead of exclusion of all diverse groups is important to decrease prejudice. Television advertisements using members of minority groups for exposure is also a way of socializing society to internal more accepting attitudes about different groups and races. Likewise, having television shows and movie actor play major roles e.g., black person playing president socializes us into different attitudes.

2.Compare and Contrast the various types of discrimination experienced by different groups in America (gender, racial, and sexual orientation). Use various statistics to explain differences in educational attainment, income, poverty rates, and any other factors you have noted in your readings. Are there any solutions to this problem? Explain. As always use your course materials in answering this question.

Discrimination is when an individual acts upon his/her prejudice by denying rights and benefits to others.

Illegal discrimination extends to several protected classes, and includes the following (all of which are discussed in further detail below): Sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, national origin discrimination, age discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, and disability discrimination (http://www.quizlaw.com/hremployment_law/what_are_the_types_of_illega.php).

However, "sexual orientation isn't a protected class under current federal law. State and federal laws - including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) - prohibit discrimination in employment decisions like hiring and firing based on race, religion, color, sex, and national origin. But there's a growing push on both the federal and state levels to provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and to include the term "sexual orientation" in all legislation that prohibits discrimination." http://www.hrhero.com/topics/sodiscrim.html
However, discrimination still occurs in the workplace in terms of gender differences pay, sexual harassment by gender, overepresentativeness of Black in prison and are charged with crimes more often than Caucasian, lower socioeconomic for minority groups versus white middle class men.

? In fiscal year 2007, EEOC received 30,510 charges of race discrimination. EEOC resolved 25,882 race charges in FY 2007, and recovered $67.7 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation
? See statistics of charges by race found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/stats/race.html.
? See http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10887&page=207.
? Wage discrimination by gender and race

How large is the wage gap by gender and race?
2006 Median Annual Earnings
of Year-Round, Full-Time Workers
All Men All Women
$42,261 100% $32,515 77%
Men Women
White $44,152 White $33,768
Black $34,770 Black $30,352
Asian $51,438 Asian $39,313
Hispanic $29,061 Hispanic $25,198
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Series PINC-05 http://www.pay-equity.org/info-Q&A.html

3. Discuss detail the theoretical explanations for war and terrorism in the World? Which one do you agree with most and why? Do you think there will ever be world peace? Why or Why not?

The following theoretical explanations for war and terrorism in the World are put forth:

(1) The official view, standard among U. S. politicians and in the media and therefore a kind of "default" theory: This war is an entirely new phenomenon in history, to be understood purely as the U. S. government response to the September 11 attacks considered as an act of war against the U. S.. The war is justified as punishment for September 11 and as prevention of future attacks on U. S. targets by military destruction of terrorist networks like Al Qaeda (and potentially about thirty others on the State Department list) wherever they exist. This theory depends on an understanding of terrorism as an act of war rather than a crime, and on a selective, partial and shifting ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides assistance with 9 questions related to social problems, including topics such as prejudice in the United States, types of discrimination experienced by different groups in America (gender, racial, and sexual orientation), theoretical explanations for war and terrorism in the World, the problems facing the United States education system, forms of discrimination faced by women, major problems faced by families, health care as a social problem concerning race, class, and gender affect health care, AIDS, the Hurricane Katrina disaster using the sociological perspective.

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