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Test 3 -- Study Guide

[Revised:  December 7, 2013]

Chapter 6: Urban Problems in the United States

I.     Changes in U.S. Cities

A.     Early Urban Growth and Social Problems

1.     What is Urbanization?

2.     City vs. Metropolitan Areas

B.     Contemporary Urban Growth

1.     Edge Cities

2.     Megalopolis

3.     Know the metropolitan demographic comparisons. (See charts in the lecture notes)

  • What are the five largest metropolitan areas in America?
  • What are the five fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S.? (by the numbers)
  • What are the five fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S.? (by growth rate)
  • What are the five largest metropolitan areas in Texas?

II.     Urban Problems in the U.S.

A.     Suburbanization and Urban Sprawl

B.     Urban Job Loss

C.     Disinvestment

D.     Fiscal Crisis in Cities:  The Disappearing Tax Base

1.     The Cause of the Fiscal Crisis.

2.     The Solution to Fiscal Crisis: Austerity Measures

3.     Transferring the Problem to a Higher Authority

4.     The 1990's and the Federal Debt

5.     Social Service Cutbacks

III.     Understanding Homelessness: Industrial and Urban Decline

A.     The Most Visible of American's Social Problems

B.     Commonly Used Perspectives to Understand Homelessness

C.     Themes in this Inquiry

D.     The Homeless: How Many?

E.     Blaming the Individual: Myths of Homelessness

1.     Homelessness and Mental Illness

2.     Alcohol Myths

F.     Structural Sources of Rising Urban Homelessness

1.     There is not enough low-cost housing

a.     Gentrification

b.     Slum Lording

c.     Warehousing

2.     Rising costs

3.     Rent Squeeze

G.     The Poor Pay More for Housing and other Services and Commodities

H.     Failed Federal Housing Policies: Urban Renewal

I.     The Swelling of the At-risk Population

1.     The Changing Economy

2.     The Temping of America

3.     Changing Family Structure

4.     Changing Government Policies

J.     The Economic Marginality of Young Families: The Near Homeless and a Precipitating Event


Chapter 7: Poverty

I.     Basics of Social Stratification

A.     social stratification

B.     social class

C.     Meritocracy

D.     Underclass

E.     Wealth

F.     Income

G.     Assets

II.     Poverty in the United States

A.     What is Poverty and How is it Measured?

B.     The Extent of Poverty

1.     The Poverty Rate

  • Compare the poverty rates for Corpus Christi with those of Texas and the United States for 2010 (see the chart).

2.     Determining the "Official" Poverty Line

3.     Problems with the Official Definition of poverty?

a.     Poverty is Unique Depending of the Social and Physical Environment

b.     The Cost of Food Declined

c.     It Fails to Keep up with Inflation

4.     Alternatives to the Official Poverty Rate

a.     Relative Measures (50% of the Median)

b.     Subjective Measures

C.     Portrait of the Poor (Be familiar with the six tables under "Poverty and Income Data.")

Graph 1:  Historic Poverty Trends in the U.S.: Poverty Rates and the Size of the Poverty Population

How many people were poor in the United States in 2010?

Graph 2:  Historic Poverty Trends in the U.S.: Race, Ethnicity and Female Householders

Which racial/ethnic group has the highest poverty rate in the U.S. in the year 2010?

Which group has the highest poverty rate in the United States in the year 2010?

Graph 3:  Historic Poverty Trends in the U.S.: Age

Which group has the highest poverty rate in the United States in the year 2010?

Graph 4:  Median household income: Race and Ethnicity

Which group has the highest median income in the United States in the year 2010?

Which group has the lowest median income in the United States in the year 2010?

Graph 5:  Per capita income: Race and Ethnicity.

Which group has the highest per capita income in the United States in the year 2010?

Which group has the lowest per capita income in the United States in the year 2010?

1.     Feminization of Poverty

2.     Child Poverty

3.     The Old Poor, the New Poor, and the Poor-Poor

III.     Myths of Poverty

A.     Refusal to Work

B.     Welfare Dependency

1.     Welfare

2.     Wealthfare

a.     Funding for Social Services

b.     Tax-expenditures and Tax Loopholes

c.     Corporate Assistance

C.     Do the poor get special advantages?

1.     The High Cost of Commodities

2.     Inflated Interest Rates

3.     Regressive taxes

IV.     Deficiency Theory #1:  Innate Inferiority - Social Darwinism

A.     The Role of Biology

B.     The Rise of Sociobiology

C.     Biological Models as Social Models

D.     Social Darwinism of the 19th and early 20th century

E.     A Modern Example of Social Darwinism: IQ Tests

F.     IQ and the Social Environment

G.     The Hidden Agenda Behind the Bell Curve

H.     A critique of Biological models

V.     Deficiency Theory #2: Cultural Inferiority - The Culture of Poverty

A.     Characteristics of the Culture of Poverty

B.     The Moynihan Report

C.     A Critique of the Moynihan Report and the Culture of Poverty

1.     It Blames the Victim

2.     Negative Emphasis on Female-headed Families

3.     The Attack on Divorce

4.     Most Black Families are not Poor

5.     Poor People do not Have Radically Different Lifestyles

6.     One-way Adaptation?

VI.     Structural Theories

A.     Institutional Discrimination

1.     Education

2.     Health care

B.     The Political Economy of Society

VII.     Consequences of Class Position

A.     Life Chances

B.     Dating and Marriage

C.     Socialization

D.     Health

E.     Formal Education

F.     Political behavior and attitudes

G.     Crime and law enforcement

H.     Perspective


Chapter 8: Racial and Ethnic Inequality

I.     How to Think about Racial and Ethnic Inequality

A.     Minority and Majority Groups

1.     Majority Groups

2.     Minority Groups

B.     Racial stratification

C.     Racial and Ethnic Minorities

D.     Racial Categories

1.     Racial Formation

2.     The Census and Multi-race Identification

3.     Ethnicity

E.     Racism

II.     Patterns of Race and Ethnic Relations

A.     Assimilation

B.     Pluralism (multiculturalism)

C.     Segregation

D.     Genocide

III.     General Observations Concerning Prejudice

A.     Prejudice and Discrimination

1.     Prejudice

2.     Discrimination

B.     Forms of Prejudice

1.     Cognitive Prejudice

2.     Affective Prejudice

3.     Conative Prejudice

IV.     Theories about Personality and Prejudice

A.     Is Prejudice Generalized?

1.     The Hartley Study

B.     Ethnocentrism

C.     Stereotyping

D.     Authoritarian Personalities

F.     Scapegoating and Projection

1.     Scapegoating (Displaced Aggression)

2.     Projection

V.     Social Learning and Conformity as a Cause of Prejudice

A.     Agents of Socialization

1.    The Family

2.    The School

3.    Peer Groups

4.     Media

B.     Selective Exposure and Modeling

C.     Reward and Punishment

1.     The ASCH Line Experiment

VI.     Reducing Prejudice:  Some Principles and Approaches

A.     Persuasive Communication (The Description and Drawbacks)

B.     Education (The Description and Drawbacks)

C.     Intergroup Contact:  The Contact Hypothesis (The Description and Drawbacks)

D.     Simulation Exercises

E.     Therapy (The Description and Drawbacks)

VII.     How Important is Prejudice?

A.     LaPiere Study

B.     Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Can Behavior Determine Attitudes?

1.     The Carlsmith (1959) Experiment

2.     The Deep South Today

VIII.     Explanations of Racial and Ethnic Inequality

A.     Bias Theories

B.     Structural-Discrimination Theories

1.     Individual Discrimination

2.     Institutional Discrimination

C.     Four Basic Themes of Institutional Discrimination

1.     The Importance of History

2.     Discrimination Without Conscious Bigotry

3.     Institutional Discrimination Is More Invisible

4.     Institutional Discrimination Is Reinforced Because Institutions Are Interrelated

IX.     Contemporary Trends and Issues in U.S. Racial and Ethnic Relations

A.     Nativism

1.     More Racially Based Groups and Atrocities