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UCI Wage Inequality Illness Families and Crime Questions

UCI Wage Inequality Illness Families and Crime Questions


Characteristics Contributing to Gender Wage Inequality:

Characteristic 1: Occupational Segregation Occupational segregation refers to the tendency for men and women to be concentrated in different types of jobs and industries. This contributes to gendered wage inequality because occupations traditionally dominated by women tend to offer lower wages compared to those dominated by men. This phenomenon can be seen in fields like healthcare and education, where jobs such as nursing or teaching, often held by women, are paid less than jobs in male-dominated fields like engineering or finance.

Example: In the healthcare sector, female-dominated roles like nursing or medical assisting are generally paid less than male-dominated roles like doctors or surgeons. This is despite the fact that both roles require education and skill, illustrating the impact of occupational segregation on wage disparities.

Characteristic 2: Gender Pay Gap and Negotiation The gender pay gap refers to the disparity in average earnings between men and women. This occurs partly due to negotiation practices. Research indicates that women tend to negotiate their salaries less aggressively than men, and societal expectations often discourage women from advocating for higher pay. Consequently, this contributes to perpetuating wage inequality.

Example: In a corporate setting, when new employees are offered a starting salary, men might be more likely to negotiate for higher pay, while women might be less inclined to do so. Over time, this difference in negotiation behavior can lead to a significant wage gap between male and female employees.

Q2. Theoretical Perspectives on Illness – Example: Depression

a) Functionalism: From a functionalist perspective, illness can be viewed as a disruption of the normal functioning of society. It might be understood as a signal that something isn’t functioning properly within an individual or within the larger social system. Functionalists might focus on how illness contributes to social stability, such as creating a demand for healthcare services and promoting social cohesion around shared health concerns.

b) Conflict Theory: Conflict theorists would view illness through the lens of power dynamics and social inequality. They might analyze how access to healthcare and treatment is unevenly distributed based on social factors like income, race, and gender. This perspective might highlight how powerful groups maintain control over healthcare resources, potentially exacerbating health disparities.

c) Symbolic Interactionism: Symbolic interactionism would emphasize the subjective experiences of individuals and how they attach meaning to illness. This perspective would delve into how individuals with an illness navigate their social interactions, self-concept, and identity. It might explore how labels like “depressed” influence an individual’s perception of themselves and how others treat them.

Q3. Trends Shaping Family Definitions:

Trend 1: Diverse Family Structures In the past, the nuclear family (two-parent household with children) was often considered the norm. Today, there’s a shift towards recognizing diverse family structures, including single-parent families, blended families, same-sex families, and families with non-biological caregivers. This shift reflects societal recognition of the variety of ways in which people form meaningful familial connections.

Trend 2: Delayed Marriage and Parenthood Compared to earlier generations, people are marrying and having children later in life. This trend is influenced by factors like education, career aspirations, and changing gender roles. It shifts how we think about families by challenging the traditional sequence of events and roles associated with family formation.

Trend 3: Focus on Individual Fulfillment Contemporary families emphasize individual fulfillment and personal growth. In the past, family roles were often more rigid and focused on collective responsibilities. The modern trend towards valuing personal happiness can lead to decisions such as pursuing different career paths, opting for child-free lifestyles, or prioritizing self-care.

Q4. Strain Theory and Reactions to Strain:

Strain Theory argues that when individuals experience a disconnect between societal goals (such as financial success) and the legitimate means available to achieve those goals, they may experience strain. This strain can lead to various responses, including deviant behavior and crime.

Using income/social class as an example of strain, here are the five different ways people can react to strain:

  1. Conformity: Individuals who conform accept societal goals and use legitimate means to achieve them. They strive to succeed within the established system, even if they face economic challenges.
  2. Innovation: Innovators accept the goal of financial success but reject legitimate means. They may turn to unconventional or illegal methods, such as theft or fraud, to achieve their goals.
  3. Ritualism: Ritualists abandon the pursuit of high financial success but continue to adhere to the accepted means. They may follow routines and rules even if they no longer expect significant rewards.
  4. Retreatism: Retreatists reject both societal goals and legitimate means. They may withdraw from mainstream society and turn to substance abuse or alternative lifestyles.
  5. Rebellion: Rebels reject both the established goals and means, seeking to replace them with their own alternative goals and methods. They may aim to create a new social order through activism or revolution.

These reactions highlight how individuals respond differently to the strain caused by the gap between societal expectations and their ability to attain them.

UCI Wage Inequality Illness Families and Crime Questions



Q1. Researchers find there are several characteristics that contribute to wage inequality between men and women.

  1. ???Choose 2 characteristics that were discussed in the module and explain how they contribute to gendered wage inequality.
  2. ???Use examples to support your answer.

Q2. Scholars recognize that illness can be studied in different ways using the 3 major theoretical perspectives in sociology.

a) Using an illness of your own choice as an example, explain how each theoretical perspective would approach understanding illness.

Q3. There are a number of trends that shape how we think and define families.

  1. ???According to researchers (e.g. from the module), what are 3 trends?
  2. ???Explain what they are and why they shift how we think about families today compared to the past.

Q4. Strain Theory has been used by many cities to better understand why people commit crimes.

  1. ???What does Stain Theory argue?
  2. ???Using income/social class as an example of strain, explain the 5 different ways people can react to strain.


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