Kerbo (p. 9) defines social inequality as "the condition whereby people have unequal access to
valued resources, services, and positions in society." In this assignment, we familiarize ourselves
with the broad contours of social inequality in the U.S. through an assessment of the relative
standing of groups in the U.S. or of the U.S. and another society. Please type your assignment
and number the points. The relative weighting of the different items (out of a total of 25 points)
is indicated in italics.
1. (1 pt.) Use the entire textbook to make one of the following comparisons:
Blacks / Whites (in U.S.)
Hispanic / Whites (non-Hispanic) (in U.S.)
Women / Men (in U.S.)
U.S. / Another Society
In your assignment, begin by explicitly stating which comparison you are making.
Now describe the inequality that exists between the two groups or countries you are comparing:
2. (6 pts.) You must consider 4 distinct dimensions of inequality (e.g., income, wealth, health,
political power/influence, authority in the workplace, education, etc.). List these 4
dimensions and in a phrase or sentence justify them as important – and distinct –
dimensions of inequality. You may look at both the overall condition of people in
one group or country vs. another (e.g., wages of men vs. wages of women) and
inequality within the two groups or countries (e.g., wages are distributed more
unequally among men than they are among women) and count such within-group
or -country inequality as a separate dimension from differences in overall level of
some benefit or resource.
3. (7.5 pts.) Use 4 sets of statistics from tables in Kerbo that measure the dimensions of
inequality you are describing. Show these statistics, along with the table numbers
and page numbers where you found them.
4. (10.5 pts.) In no more than two pages, explain what these statistics mean. Exactly what does
each type of statistic say? Is one group better off than the other? On which
dimensions? Does using different measures of a dimension make a difference?
What would you say overall about the relative position of people in these two
groups or two countries? Use discussion in the Kerbo textbook (again with
citations) and speculate briefly about why and how such differences exist (for
example, whether one dimension of inequality leads to another or whether there
might be some general kind of difference or inequality behind what you see).
You Must Submit Materials Using This Format
A) Cover page (e.g., “Jane Smith, Assignment #1, S217”)
B) Response to #1
C) Response to #2
D) Response to #3
E) Response to #4
1. Response to #1: “I am comparing Xs and Ys in the United States…”
2. Response to #2: “The four dimensions of inequality along which I am comparing Xs and Ys are
A, B, C, and D…. A is important because…. A is distinct from B, C, and D in the following way… B
is important because… B is distinct from A, C, and D in the following way…. Etc.”
3. Response to #3:
DIMENSION STATISTIC TABLE PAGE
(name dimension) (show statistics) (list table) (list page number)
(1) A X = 25 / Y = 41 Table ?-? p. ??
4. Response to #4 (no more than two pages).