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Social Stratification in the US & the West (Panel Questions)

I would like some sample questions (about 5-6 questions)to ask to the panel along with the responses from each sociologist. I need to better understand how each sociologist might respond to the questions following each paradigm.The panel includes a sociologist committed to a Marxian/conflict paradigm, a sociologist committed to a functionalist paradigm and a student of the writings of Max Weber.

The questions would need to ask them to describe how stratification occurred in the U.S, explain why the U.S. is the most economically stratified Western nation and give their prediction on the degree of stratification within the next 30 years in the United States. I am just not sure how each sociologist would respond.

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1. How has social and economic stratification occurred over time in the United States?

a. The Marxist/conflict view is a materialist view that is rooted in the work one does. Because work has become more diverse, in terms of social circles and how one is perceived socially, stratification occurs from the differences in the various types of work that members of society engage in (McClelland, 2000).

b. The functionalist view of stratification would explain that stratification has occurred over time as a necessity for society to reach its full potential, both socially and economically (Parsons, 1951). Social stratification provides stability for its members, in knowing what to expect and where one fits into society.

c. The Max Weber scholar supports the notion of a strong work ethic and capitalism as a means of financial security, with the encouragement of investment, as a means of furthering one's economic position (Changing minds, 2011). Therefore, those who work and save or invest are becoming fewer, which leads to large disparities between those with high incomes and those with little income, who have become that way because they failed to invest.

2. Why is the United States the most economically stratified nation? ...

Solution Summary

The solutions provides sample questions the student can use as a guide in putting together a set of sociological questions, framed so that they can be points of reference to a panel of sociologists with different perspectives, on the topic of social stratification in the US and the West.

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