The Systemic Dimension of Classism in the US (Part One)
Due on Tuesday, Feb 21st
Please remember that, if you are unable to solidly complete an "A...
Assignment: The Systemic Dimension of Classism in the US (Part One)
Due on Tuesday, Feb 21st
Please remember that, if you are unable to solidly complete an "Assignment" by the due date, you just need to send me an email, requesting an extension - and your "Assignment" will be treated as being "on-time".
Remember the "Mirror Exercise" - about the following, essential steps in the process of learning about and responding to issues of social justice.
We look at "the way things are".
We evaluate how "the way things are" compares to "the way we believe things could/should be".
We engage in actions that seek to make "the way things are" become more like "the way we believe things could/should be."
We are about to begin a unit that looks at issues of classism and economic justice.
This assignment focuses primarily on exploring:
"the way things are" with issues of poverty and wealth in the United States, and
why these things are happening
The final question invites you to share about how "the way things are" related to "the way you believe things could/should be".
* * *
This assignment involves reading pages from the textbook Privilege, Power and Difference (Allan Johnson). Such reading takes more time than, say, reading a handout; and the focus is not on describing and reflecting on your own life experiences (though it will cause you to consider experiences you've had), but on demonstrating your understanding of the text.
It will be very important that you explain the answers to the questions in your own words. If you merely quote the author's perspectives and information, I will not be able to tell whether you understand the material.
How Capitalism Works
Read the section in the handout from Privilege, Power, and Difference entitled "How Capitalism Works" (pages 36-38), and answer the following questions, in your own words.
How is modern capitalism different from the kind of capitalism that Adam Smith envisioned?
How does the close relationship between modern capitalism and government authority, legitimacy, and power impact: (answer both of the following)
elections? b. the passing of legislation?
Does it matter whether what capitalists produce "enhances human life" or "does harm to human life"? Explain.
In order to make a profit, capitalists need workers who are willing to be paid less than the value of what they produce. Why do workers agree to less pay?
Capitalists can increase profit by increasing "worker productivity" - by "finding ways to get workers to produce more goods for the same or less pay". What are three strategies they are currently using to increase worker productivity?
If you could ask the author of this handout a question about the perspectives and information in these pages (p. 36-38), what is a question that you would ask?
Final question: This assignment has provided you with perspectives and information about the way things are in the US, and some of the systemic reasons why.
How do the perspectives and information in this assignment compare to the way that you believe things could/should be? (4-5 sentences minimum)
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