Midterm

1 . In this essay, please fully explain??”in your own words and fully cited– what Mills means by “the sociological imagination” and then discuss how it might be used in escaping from the inequality trap. Please use a standard 5 paragraph essay format. The first paragraph should be devoted to Mills and the following paragraphs should put Mills “in conversation” with Schwalbe. I expect to see both authors fully cited in the body of your text. The sociological imagination is being able to step outside of your normal routine and look at things from a different perspective.

It is the heoretical consciousness of the link between experience and a wider society. It is also being able to view things socially, and how they connect and influence others. Using the sociological imagination helps you grasp a relationship between yourself and how you fit into society, allowing you to step outside your thoughts and put yourself in the world. The sociological imagination can be used to escape he equality trap in several different ways. C. Wright Mills suggests that people must be able to withdraw from a situation and think from an alternative point of view.

This uggestion ties directly into Schwalbe’s idea of freeing the imagination. In order to free the imagination people must learn to think of alternatives. People should also take the initiative to learn, support others when they oppose questions, fgure out the components of the world, and compose a plan to recreate the world in a way that everyone can be happy and benefit. Wright also suggests seeing things from other people’s point of view. Schwalbe touches on this a little bit in the Humanizing Others section.

He thinks that if we look at other people as a member of our family we would eel some kind of compassion which would make us feel obligated to help them (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 243). He also thinks that seeing people that are much worse off than we are suffering, might encourage us rebel (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 244). The sociological imagination encourages people to look at the bigger picture. It inspires you to question the social structure versus blaming oneself for not being able to keep your head above water. You have to make sure you are doing everything that you possibly can before looking for a glitch in the social structure.

Sometime we are not he main donor to the problem that we encounter on a daily basis. 2. Please explain how rigging the game affects the distribution of capital. Schwalbe believed that certain groups of people are able to get ahead because of their access to the three capitals and that this is a part of the reproduction and continuation of inequality. He also believed that understanding the three capitals would be the key to helping us understand why people social class seems to be inherited as oppose to being achieved. Human capital is basically what you have to offer.

It usually persists of skills, level of education, and your work experience. People that are of the minority, people who are less fortunate and have been discriminated against are usually less likely to obtain the quality of human capital that allows them to be eligible to compete in this “rigged game” (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 10). It is quite easy for a less person to lack quality education. If a person is poor, more than likely they live in public schools and plenty of people standing on the street corners who have already gave up on trying to get ahead.

Public schools in urban areas are usually over crowed with an approximate thirty to one student teacher ratio. On the other hand, schools in the suburbs tend to be better learning environments because of smaller classes that allow teachers to acknowledge the children in smaller groups. It is much harder for people in poverty to get a good education not only because of the schools but because of the influence of the neighborhood. Inner-city neighborhoods are full of people hanging out, doing bad things and look for others pull down with them.

In predominately white neighborhoods you almost never see anyone outside it’s nice, clean, and quiet. Children from these kinds of area even if they are black are typically he ones that do well in school, go on to college and get great degrees. Cultural capital is who you are. Your cultural capital is mixture of what you know, the things you value, and the habits you gained from the social environment in which you grew up in. People of color usually lack cultural capital as well.

They lack the knowledge, and values that would help them prevail in the middle-class world. (Schwalbe, 2008, Page 11). This goes back to where you were raised. I was raised in an inner-city neighborhood where the men wore they pants below their waist, everyone address ach other according to which gang they were a part of, people displayed manners on occasion and they only spoke slang. According to Schwalbe a person from a social background like mine is most likely very distasteful to the white, middle-class social words.

Fortunately my parents taught me how to present myself in the kind of environment where “what’s up” is replaced with “hello, how are you,” gym shoes are not allowed, you have to use certain forks for certain foods, and the people you are in conversation with have way more money than I could ever even dream about. Unfortunately the story is not the same for all the people that grew up where I grew up. They only know what they see, they do not take responsibility for their own actions and realize that cultural capital is extremely imperative, and is one of the main reason we are look at in that manner.

Social capital for the most part, is who you know. The more people in higher places you know, the better chance you of getting into those higher places. Social capital is one of the main factors of getting ahead. Knowing people who possess valuable information and are willing to sharing is a necessity to do better. Schwalbe, 2008, Page 13) The way the Job market is set up at this time makes it nearly impossible to get a Job without knowing someone. If you were to ask your co-workers how many of them actually got the Job that they have without knowing anyone on the inside it, your results would more than likely be very few.

As a matter of fact that is exactly how I got the Job that I have. The three capitals coincide with one another starting with cultural capital. A person from a distasteful social environment usually lacks the skill and ability to please a person of the middle- class social environment. The lack the knowledge of how to behave in a social environment that is very much so different from the one they grew up in. This lack of cultural capital makes it less likely for that person to come in contact with a person who is able to pull you up to the next level and share valuable information; therefore you have no social capital.

This is how inequality is formed. Not everybody is ignorant to these three capitals. The ones that are not are usually the ones that inherit it. This all they know. They are taught this by the people who have went to the best schools, and have the highest degrees. They are usually the people a person like me tries to impress in order to build a social connection so that they can share valuable information and bring you to the top. They have it and other does not which makes “them” in a sense better or different than “us. ” 3.

Compare and contrast Sernau’s arguments about the roots of inequality with Schwalbe’s arguments about the roots of inequality. Again, using your own words and citing extensively. The roots of inequality go much further than race, class and gender. Schwalbe believes that inequality is created and reproduced by institutionalizing imbalanced flows of ocially valued resources (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 26). One of the main causes of inequality is resources. Race, class, and gender play an important part as well. Resources are important. Resources are things such as knowledge, skill, and money.

One of the most valuable resources is money. Money is imperative to get the things that are essential to our well-being as well as what we desire. It can also be converted to other things as well. Knowledge and skill are the things that you learn as you grow and what ultimately helps you to build relationships between yourself and some of the world’s most prestigious people. If you lack knowledge you will not get as far as others. Knowledge can also be converted to other things. It is what we use to gain our accreditations, our accreditations gets us Jobs, Jobs earn us money.

Money helps us to pay bills. It is also is the reason some people get ahead of others. Inequality is when one person has more of something than another. Inequality is created when one group has more resources than another group which gives that group the upper hand. If we all had the same amount of things it would still be possible for inequality to exist. Exploitation, theft, and extortion will destroy equality in the blink of an eye. Race is also important factor of what causes inequality. For instance, let us look at African Americans.

African Americans have always been at low end. They were always looked at as being less than a human being. They fought for many years to break this barrier. Many people such as Martin Luther King died fght for the equality of blacks. Although we are not as looked down upon as we use to be we still make up a large amount of the people who are barely making it. Gender plays its own role as well. A man will more than likely be picked over a woman for some the highest paying Jobs. Women have also been discriminated against for a ery long time as well.

Men have always been more dominant. The only thing people thought women where good for was bearing children, cooking, cleaning and making sure everything within the how was taken care of. Sernau looked at things from a broader perspective. He spoke about globalization and how it kept us associated to other countries (Sernau, 2009, Pg 1). He looked at things from a political, economical, and cultural standpoint. The idea that grabbed my attention the most that Schawlbe touched on briefly was cultural globalization.

Cultural globalization is the influence of media, music, and fashion on the world. It was surprising to me that these were look at as some of the things that causes inequality. 4. In the opening paragraph of this answer, please be sure to explain in your own of the “NO” campaign with the “Arresting the Imagination” chapter, being sure to provide a chapter point by chapter point analysis. Ideology is way of thinking that masks inequality and puts it off as the natural way of thinking. (Schwalbe, 2008, Page 100) . deology is the belief that things are exactly as they suppose to be and that you should not question. All alone the things we do not question are usually the greatest contribution to inequality. It is kind of like putting a twist on reality. One person definition of real is completely different from what someone perceives to be real. In 1988 Augusto Pinochet, president of Chile agrees to give the Chilean people a referendum if the “NO” side wins the vote, if the nation vote mies” he will remain in power and he will continue with the dictatorship.

Every night each side was given fifteen minutes commercial slot to present their argument. The “Yes” campaign illustrates Pinochet’s leadership as a financial success, and renovation of the country. The “No” campaign did not think they had a chance of winning because majority of he people on the campaign were already victims under Pinochet’s reign. They already felt as if they had lost the election because it was rigged in favor of the dictators. The “No” campaign focused on the negatives too much which began to frighten the people and make them feel as if they had no power.

What the “No” campaign did not realize is that scaring the voters only made them not want to vote which helped Pinochet. After realizing what they were doing they decided to only focus on happiness and showing the nations that there were alternatives and that the reality according to Pinochet was only HIS reality. The movie shared ideas similar to the ones presented in chapter four. Schawlbe talked a lot about arresting the imagination. By arresting the imagination he meant accepting things as they are while never giving thought that things could or should be different (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 100).

He also talked about “concocting an ideology’, which Just simply means establishing a difference between two groups of people, us and them, and telling oneself that it is okay to exploit them because they are not us (Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 103). The section of the chapter that I found was most similar to the ideas presented in the movie was the TINA problem. TINA is an acronym meaning There Is No Alternative. Not presenting an alternative makes people feel powerless. It makes them feel like even though things around them are not exactly how they think it should be there is no solution to the problem.

Those who propose a solution are then looked at as unrealistic or crazy. In the movie, the mies” campaign did its’ best to cover up the idea that there was an “us” and a “them”. Their main focus was to make things seem like they were not as bad as the “No” side make it seem. Pinochet was the kind to person to give Just enough to make people feel like things were okay. He was a trickster. He used the word anyone instead of everyone, which still singled out one person from the group versus communicating there was equal opportunity for success for everyone.

Pinochet displayed his own definition of fairness and equality. He presented ideas as only he perceived them and because he sugar-coated a lot of things to make them seem not as bad, nobody ever thought to question his definition of fairness. The “No” campaign challenged the people to define fairness. They presented the ideas that things could in fact be much better. It was easier for them to get people to think outside the box because they also let the people know that eople to no longer blame themselves for their misfortunes.

They “No” campaign gave the people hope. They showed them that there may very well be light at the end of the tunnel and that there was nothing to be afraid of. Offering alternatives and showing people that they were not alone ending up leading the “No” campaign to a victory and the Chilean people would finally get the democracy they never knew they had an option to have. 5. Discuss Schwalbe’s analysis of the ways in which our behavior regulated so that we continue to play the rigged game. In other words, how does the system regulate the action (Chapter 6)?

Then, using Chapter 8 as cited inspiration, propose two ways in which we can change the system in order to make the game more equitable and fair. Regulating ones behavior in order for them to continue playing the rigged games is all so simple. All it really takes is assurance that the game can never be beaten or changed. This will discourage them and force them to get use to what is going on. Adding the possibility that things can get ugly if anyone disagrees makes it even easier. If you throw in the possibility of side bets being taken away and the thought of having to be held accountable for revolting can lso keep a person from rebelling.

Side bets are the additional things you gain along with the accomplishment of your main goal. Identity stake is being able to pass yourself off to others as whom and what you claim to be. Your identity is what keeps you intact and connected with the world. It also helps you recognize your purpose. Side bets and identity stakes are also a very important influence on ones decision to rebel. For example, if you are working a Job and you feel like you deserve a raise nine times out of ten you are not going to ask because it is a possibility that you could be ired which ceases your main benefit.

Of course you do not want to get fired because you have to make money in order to survive. You may have kids to take care of and even you do not have kids you most certainly have bills; these are your side bets. If you get fired you then have to worry about how others are going to look at you now that you have no Job and are unable to support yourself, this is removal of your side bets and questioning of your identity. Everyone is held accountable for his or her own actions. Accountability, according to Schwalbe, is when one has to explain his or er own actions to whoever is in authority. Schwalbe, 2008, Pg 170) The person that is in authority expects you to behave a certain way and if you do anything what is expected of you, you will most likely be held accountable. Your accountability coincide your identity, and who you are perceived to be. For instance, mothers are suppose to nurture their children, protect them, and make rational decisions based on what is best for your child. If you do anything to harm your child or if they do anything to harm themselves, or if you allow anyone else to harm your child your will we the police an explanation.

Because you are look upon to protect your child, they will want to know how and why did you allow anything harmful to happen to your child. On the other hand, if you are an older brother or sister and your parents tell you to look after your younger sibling and you let something happen to them, you will be held accountable by your parents and you will owe them an explanation. It is up to them to determine if you were accountable or if it was an accident. Escaping inequality is what you make it. First you have to figure out what creates inequality. Figure out what separates us from them.

What qualifies these groups to be both sides win. Make them feel better about helping. You can escape inequality by using the same problem-solving skills you use to solve everyday issues. It is all about consistency and not giving up. If one solution does not work fgure out why it did not work and try a different solution. Propose an alternative; learn to never doubt your thoughts. Question the authority and fgure out what is right and what is wrong to you. Never let anyone make you feel powerless or like there is nothing you can do. Be confident in your own ideas.