Article 1: Social Class and Inequality in the United States
The article “Social Class and Income Inequality in the United States: Ownership, Authority, and Personal Income Distribution from 1980 to 2010” by Wodtke outlines the relationship between social class and income inequality in the United States. The author studies the theory of social class regarding workplace ownership and authority relations to determine the effect on the level of inequality. Wodtke cites an increase in income inequality in the country since the 1980s (1375). He establishes that this trend relates to social class. The author suggests three ways in which the changes occur: “in between-class income differences, in the relative size of different classes, and in within-class income dispersion” (Wodtke 1375). However, Wodtke concludes that although various theories suggest the effect of social class on personal income distribution, they do not adequately explain the trend in income inequality in the United States (1398). Regardless of the limitation, the two variables have a close relationship and implications for understanding the issue.
The study is sociologically relevant because it explains the role of social class in various economic outcomes of people in society. Income inequality is a serious problem that requires practical solutions to improve livelihoods. Given the gaps between social classes in the country, the variable potentially creates a social challenge. The study informs important interventions by discussing some factors that underlie the problem. For example, social policies to address the issue should focus on dealing with class differences. Hence, policymakers should emphasize ownership and authority relations within production since they define class differences (Wodtke 1398). The study provides critical information to improve socio-economic outcomes in society.
Article 2: Global Inequality and Poverty
The article “Addressing Poverty and Inequality in the Rural Economy from a Global Perspective” by Rodríguez-Pose and Hardy highlights the purpose of global society in addressing poverty. The authors investigate the role of the international community in significant structural changes that occur in developing and emerging economies. These transformations are important for addressing challenges such as extreme poverty and hunger, but the authors recognize that national governments and international organizations have had limited success in alleviating these issues, especially in rural regions. Some of the efforts, such as conventional place-neutral approaches, have even increased rural-urban disparities and the incidence of poverty (Rodríguez-Pose and Hardy 28). Therefore, territorial approaches have been adopted and mainstreamed to replace the traditional strategies. The latter have played a more positive role because they have managed to coordinate information and participation of locals. On the contrary, it is challenging to coordinate territorial efforts because of fragmentation and limited resources (page 28 par 2). Evidently, current efforts have failed to address the issue of poverty in the emerging and developing countries.
Extreme poverty and hunger are major social problems that require comprehensive solutions. Therefore, the article has significant implications for sociology as part of policy-making in addressing socio-economic challenges facing different communities. The authors discuss strategies that have been somewhat effective in reducing poverty levels and those which have remained ineffective in the process. The article adds to the theory and practice in the attempt to end poverty, particularly in rural communities. Hence, it contributes to development efforts in societies across the world.
Article 3: Gender and Society
“Self-Socialization of Gender in African American, Dominican Immigrant, and Mexican Immigrant Toddlers” by Zosuls et al. discusses the impact of the knowledge of gender differences in children on gender roles that begin early in life. The article presents self-socialization theory and the role it plays in gender stereotyping among boys and girls (Zosuls et al. 2202). The study was based on cognitive developmental theories that explain the emergence of gender identity. Interestingly, children promote identification of the two genders as toddlers, which determines their tendency to select certain toys. The findings reveal that knowledge of different gender categories is a superordinate construct that defines the nature of socialization in children. They develop self-socialization processes once they understand the opposing groupings of male and female (Zosuls et al. 2213). In turn, they adapt to gender-stereotyped play. Therefore, higher knowledge of gender roles in society relates to the increased tendency to play with toys considered particular to boys and girls.
Society socializes children differently from a very young age. Toddlers can experience what happens around them, including the labels assigned to them by their parents and other people. They interact with various members of their immediate community and learn different aspects of their society through socialization, which is an integral part of their physical and psychological growth. The article explains the prevailing tendency in society to encounter children playing with different items, such as dolls for girls and trucks for boys. The work adds to the body of knowledge in sociology, especially in understanding gender roles. In this aspect, boys assume masculine responsibilities while girls adopt feminine responsibilities according to social expectations.
Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, and Daniel Hardy. “Addressing Poverty and Inequality in the Rural Economy from a Global Perspective.” Applied Geography, vol. 61, 2015, pp. 11-23.
Wodtke, Geoffrey T. “Social Class and Income Inequality in the United States: Ownership, Authority, and Personal Income Distribution From 1980 to 2010.” American Journal of Sociology, vol. 121, no. 5, 2016, pp. 1375-1415.
Zosuls, Kristina M., et al. “Self‐Socialization of Gender in African American, Dominican Immigrant, and Mexican Immigrant Toddlers.” Child Development vol. 85, no. 6, 2014, pp. 2202-2217.