Question

1. What do sociologists mean by the term “sexual revolution”? What did the sexual revolution change? What are some reasons that these changes occurred?

2. As discussed in the text, many people consider the U.S. to be a "middle class society." Based on the material in this chapter and all other material made available to you through this course, explain why people think this way. Also explain how correct you think this claim is.

3. Explain the debate over the causes of poverty in the U.S. Include in your discussion, evidence that suggests that the poor are responsible for poverty and evidence that suggests that society as a whole is responsible for poverty.

4. Gender Stratification, explains the difference between the concept of sex and the concept of gender. Write an essay discussing this difference, defining each concept. Then discuss the two main theoretical perspectives on gender inequality: structural-functional analysis and social-conflict analysis. What are the general arguments of each perspective? What does each theory say about gender inequality?

5. Consider how social class and gender interact in shaping the life of an individual born in the U.S. in contemporary times.

6. Differentiate between race and ethnicity. What does it mean to say that race and ethnicity are socially constructed? This question requires more than just a few sentences with definitions copied from the book. It requires a discussion of these topics.

7. Discuss the distinction between the sacred and the profane that underlies all religious belief.

8. Social Change: Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern Societies. Summarize the perspectives of modernization offered by Tonnies, Durkheim, Weber, and Marx.

Solution Preview

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1. The sexual revolution refers to a social movement from the 1960s to the 1980s in which social norms and behaviors changed from strict to liberated due to contraception (e.g. the pill), normalization of homosexuality and other forms of sexuality, public nudity, and the legalization of abortion. In this time, media changed, allowing pornography to be published and filmed. Freud earlier in the century discussed sexual repression, and from there, sexuality became more liberated. In the early 1950s, Hugh Hefner published Playboy and established clubs flled with Playboy bunnies. Due to increased availability of contraception, sexual encounters between unmarried partners increased. At this same time, the second wave of feminism coincided with this sexual revolution, in which women became more empowered to take control, including in sexual relationships...

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