Sociology A10

Social Inequality – Midterm exam
Professor Silver
This is an open-book, take-home essay exam. Please answer 2 questions from those
listed below, numbering your responses. Aim to write 1000-1200 words per essay.
You may use your notes and readings, as well as discuss ideas with one another.
However, the writing you submit to me must entirely be your own.
Email your finished exam to by noon on Monday February
23rd as ONE Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx).
Please bear in mind the following:
 I expect your essays to include details from sources we have discussed.
 I do not expect you to do outside research.
 You do not need to attach a “works cited” page. Just indicate author and page
number in parentheses.
 Your grade will be based on the quality of your argumentation, depth of
discussion, attention to detail, and spelling & grammar.
1. Drawing on the research Annette Lareau did for her book Home Advantage, how
is it possible that working-class parents can place a strong value on their
children’s education and yet still not fulfill teachers’ expectations that they be
integrally involved on a continuous basis in their kids’ educational lives? Answer
by comparing the Colton and Prescott cases, discussing how social class gives
Colton-type parents a home disadvantage when it comes to investing in their
kids’ futures.
2. What are the particular challenges to upward mobility experienced by firstgeneration college students? Your essay should include material from the
readings by Robert Granfield and by Paul Tough, the handout by Richard
Rodriguez, the video “Academic Culture Shock,” and the guest visit by LaDonna
Bridges and Kendall Valente.
3. How can class reproduction be explained as a combination of individual and
structural factors? Answer by drawing on Mark Rank’s “musical chairs” analogy
and be clear what you mean, respectively, by individual and structural factors.
Draw on Linda Tirado’s story to illustrate your argument.