social inequality


Students will write a paper approximately eight pages (3000-3200 words) in length based on one of the three research options below.


Note: In addition to the requirements for each option, students should specifically address how the issues of social inequality discovered through their research relate to the Saint Leo core value of community.


The paper will include a title page and reference page (no abstract) and be formatted per ASA guidelines.


Option 1

: Read and analyze the New York Times daily. Choose one section to analyze every day for at least four weeks. Focus on one of the following groups: the wealthy, middle class, the working class, or the poor. Apply related concepts about your topic from Diana Kendall’s Framing Class. You must provide specific examples from at least ten articles published during the term to support your conclusions. You should begin work on this assignment immediately by choosing the section of your interest, such as the front (“A”) or Business Day section. Please contact the instructor if you want to analyze a different section. Save this section of the newspaper every day. (Note: The online version of the New York Times restricts access to portions of the site to online to online subscribers. You may access the complete New York Times using the Cannon Memorial Library online databases.)

Option 2

: Read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (listed in the optional texts section). Discuss the obstacles faced by the working poor as illustrated in this book, and research the cost of living for a single parent of two children in your city while working a minimum wage job. For example, how much is an apartment? Utilities? Bus fare? Health care? Food? Clothes? Opening a bank account? Your essay should also address how being poor is paradoxically expensive for those struggling to get by.

Option 3

: Read at least two books about how to get rich. Suggestions include Suze Orman’s The Courage to be Rich, Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire, though any other book written for a general audience on the subject is acceptable. What are some of the assumptions these books make about American society? What do these books overlook about the American class structure? How do they employ the Horatio Alger myth? Be sure to apply key ideas from class to critically analyze the idea that anyone who tries hard enough can be wealthy.