Then select two people who differ from you on several of these dimensions. Talk to them and ask them where they think they fit in our society’s opportunity structure and how they think it affects their life chances. Compare their assessment with your own analysis of their position and with available data. Compare and contrast all three of your positions in the opportunity structure. Do they perceive themselves differently than you did? Use the theories and concepts from the class to explain any differences between your respective objective chances and subjective assessments. Do you each have accurate or inaccurate expectations? Why?
Who has the greatest advantages and disadvantages among your three examples? Why? How? Which attributes have given each of you the greatest advantages and disadvantages? How do the dimensions interact with one another to produce additional effects (for example, it is different to be white and female, white and male, or black and male, etc.)? Suggest what individual choices and public policies would be most likely to even out the life chances among your cases. How likely are these to come about?
Project yourself twenty years into the future. Are these inequalities likely to persist? Why or why not? Where would you expect each of you to be in that time? Why? How do these subjective expectations correspond with the major applicable theories of inequality and with relevant trend data?
Finally, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your analysis, and of the conceptual tools and social scientific data you used in your efforts. If the general public, or members of the groups you analyze in your essay, were to know what you now know, what would be the individual and social consequences, if any? Why? Explain and justify all assertions with appropriate logic and evidence.
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