This assignment will focus on the interconnectedness of book content, sociological concepts and theories, and the 2008 financial crisis. Most questions will require you to define concepts and theories, use those concepts and theories to analyze book content, and make inferences using facts about the 2008 financial crisis.
This assignment is writing-intensive, reading-intensive, and thinking-intensive; therefore, I encourage you to reserve enough time to respond to questions in a manner that is representative of an advanced sociology major. Each question has several parts. Be sure that you respond to all parts of each question.
1. One of the themes in the book is the American Dream. Generally speaking, the American Dream ideology suggests that through hard work, an individual can achieve upward social mobility, education, homeownership, and provide a life for children that will allow the children to exceed the gains of their parent(s).
1a. Discuss origin stories for Cindy and Clark. In other words, discuss their early lives before they married each other. When you respond to this question, be sure to respond to the following questions:
1b. In the book, we see that the Edwards family and individual members of the Edwards family enjoy different types of privilege. Identify two types of privilege experienced by the Edwards family and/or an individual member of the Edwards family. If you choose individual family members, be sure to identify the family member by name. When you identify the types of privilege, be sure to:
If you need a review on the concept of privilege, click on the following links:
1c. Using the two types of privilege chosen by you, discuss how these two privileges insulated the Edwards family during the recession that resulted from the 2008 financial crisis. Compare the Edwards family outcome in the recession to the Jongas family outcome in the recession. What do you notice about experiences for each family?
2. One aside thought associated with the American Dream ideology is that immigrants can come to the United States and, through hard work and assimilation, achieve the American Dream. If you need to review the assimilation concept, see pages 186-187 in the Sociology in Action textbook.
2a. How do the actions, activities, and decisions of Neni and Jende Jonga reflect the expected lifestyle of many immigrants? In other words, what do Jende and Neni do to “ensure” that they are/were en route to the American Dream? Provide three examples from the book that illustrate actions performed by them that are aligned with attainment of the American Dream.
2b. Identify two factors that kept the Jonga family from achieving the American Dream. Discuss how these factors affected the Jonga family. What was the final action that influenced Jende to return to Cameroon?
2c. In chapter 47, we read about Neni’s academic accomplishment, her encounter with Dean Flipkens, and the situation surrounding her ability to secure scholarships.
3. The 2008 financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession are important historical settings for the novel. Earlier in the semester, you completed several assignments that focused on the 2008 financial crisis. The author did not delve into details about the structural factors that led to the financial crisis; therefore, I incorporated assignments that would provide information for you.
3a. In the reading published by United for a Fair Econoomy (UFE), the documentary, the Glossary and Key Players document (very helpful document), and the Charles Ferguson interview, we learn how deregulation of the mortgage industry led to the 2008 crisis. Additionally, in the documentary, we see that executives at Lehman Brothers and other financial firms were aware of the impending crisis.
4. Merton’s Strain Theory (sometimes you will see it expressed as Merton’s Anomie Theory) of deviant behavior can be applied to several characters in the book.
5. Social Institutions Present in Behold the Dreamers
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