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    Marxism, Class, Gender and Assimilation in the United States

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    It is clear that race/ethnicity and gender are strongly correlated to social class. There are multiple theories in sociology that explain class, ethnicity and gender. Choose one theory to use as a backbone for you paper and choose two ethnic minorities in the United States to compare and contrast their experiences in terms of social class. Analyze how gender is treated in these groups. Demonstrate your understanding of the ways in which religious tradition works to construct social reality for these groups. Evaluate how those in power aid or obstruct the assimilation process. Inspect the ways in which racism and discrimination affect this minority's participation in mainstream American life. If you pick an American Indian group, be sure to identify their tribe and discuss their history.

    Provide support for your arguments based on both the required and recommended readings for the course, and incorporate any relevant points culled from the discussion boards.

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    Solution Preview

    The best way to approach this assignment is to break it down into parts, think through how you will address each part and then organize an outline the makes sense to you and flows together well. Usually introductory level students would simply organize the paper according to the ordering of the topics of the assignment listed above. Since this is a high level course, there will be an expectation to organize a strong argument and to build that argument. If you are a bit unsure as to how to proceed, the easiest two steps are to first determine what two ethnic minorities you are going to talk about and then think about or actually talk to someone informally about, what you're supposed to write about and how you think you're going to do it. You'll generate some good ideas and will discover what points you know you can already defend well and which ones you need to do more research on or simply take more time to plan out.

    I'll make comments on on the main points of the assignment.

    First is the overarching question which is to pick two ethnic minorities in the US and focus on their social class and experiences. Remember this is shaped by time and place as opportunities and laws change. For example, the slaves were technically free after the US Civil War but due to a series of legal and illegal practices, formal segregation didn't begin to end until the late 1940's with President Harry Truman ordering desegregation by race in the military. Also note that while there are federal protections in place to ban discrimination by race, color, religion and creed, other factors that impact an individual's and population's class status that are not protected are gender and sexual orientation. Remember that it is important to be able to discuss this on both a macro (the impact of laws, organizations - such as government, education) level, which is an ethnic group as a whole and micro level which includes neighborhoods or towns that have one predominant ethnic group living there down to an individual's experience. For the sake of my response, I'll choose Africans who were shipped to the US against their will and Italian immigrants to help clarify my points. This is a very basic comparison between racial groups as well, which is a predicable comparison that most lower level students would make. I highly recommend choosing different groups and groups which have more difficulties in today's society if you wish to do well.

    Second, the instructor wants you to choose a theory to use as a foundation. Pick one that you understand well and are comfortable using. Go to previous assignments if you can and see what theory you've used and done well with for your basis. I'm going to use Marxism as the example but again, I don't recommend doing this as it is something that is fairly easy to use in a simple macro level argument and actually this theory is a poor choice for talking about race, ethnicity and gender with class as there's no room for analyzing inequality well or actually pointing out the complexities of class on an individual level. It only ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explains the impact of race, class and gender on minority groups' ability to assimilate into the United States using Marxism as a theoretical component.