SOC 101 Washington State University Discrimination Essay

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SOC 101

Washington State University



In what ways were the individuals in each article discriminated against? Using those examples, and other evidence presented in class and in your textbook, explain what you would tell someone who claimed that America is a meritocracy and the only thing holding people back is their "lack of hard work and effort". Again, use evidence from lecture, your textbook and the readings to support your arguments.

Before submitting your paper, check it for the following things:

Does your answer demonstrate that you read and understood the assigned articles?

Did you answer ALL the questions in the prompt?

Is your paper a minimum of 5 pages double-spaced?

Did you properly cite each reading each time you quoted, paraphrased, or made and assertion about what the author said? Note, if you fail to cite you will receive a 0!

Did you proofread?

Assigned readings( can be found online if searched):

Yasemin Besen-Cassino, "Cool Stores, Bad Jobs"

Vivyan Adair, "Branded with Infamy: Inscriptions of Poverty and Class in America"

Christine L. Williams, "Still a Man's World: Men Who Do Women's Work"

Mary C. Waters, "Optional Ethnicities"

Karyn Lacy, "Blue Chips Black: Managing Race in Public Spaces"

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Explanation & Answer


Surname 1
Writing and Critical Thinking: Discrimination OUTLINE

In the current society, discrimination has become a norm and people are discriminated
against in every aspect of life.

Discrimination is any form of distinction on the basis of category or class without
considering a person’s merit, especially to exhibit unfair treatment and prejudice based
on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or country of origin.

The claims that “America is a meritocracy and the only thing holding people back is their
‘lack of the hard work and effort’” is just but an illusion, ill-informed, and does not in
any way reflect what is happening in the society.


The reading, “Cool Stores, Bad Jobs” illustrates clearly how people in society are
discriminated against on based status..

The article by Besen-Cassino shows that American is not a meritocracy society, but
rather, a society where people are treated based on where they come from.

The article, “Branded with Infamy: Inscriptions of poverty and class in the United States”
by Adair shows that gender and class discrimination is entrenched in society.

Surname 2

The article, “Optional Ethnicities” by Waters describes discrimination that is based on

The article, “Still a Man’s World: Men who do women’s work” by Williams talks about
gender discrimination in the workplace.

The article, “Blue Chips Black: Managing Race in Public Spaces” by Lacy talks about
discrimination based on race.


In light of what is happening in the five articles, the claim that America is a meritocracy
is very wrong and ill-informed.

The things that are holding people are not “lack of hard work and effort” as often claimed
but it is discrimination that has been entrenched in society.

Surname 3
Works Cited
Adair, Vivyan C. "Branded with infamy: Inscriptions of poverty and class in the United States."
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 27.2 (2002): 451-471.
Besen-Cassino, Yasemin. "Cool stores bad jobs." Contexts 12.4 (2013): 42-47.
Lacy, Karyn R. Blue Chips Black: Managing Race in Public Spaces. Univ of California Press,
Waters, Mary C. "Optional ethnicities." Race, class, and gender: An anthology (2010): 201-209.
Williams, Christine L. Still a man's world: Men who do women's work. Vol. 1. Univ of
California Press, 1995.

Surname 1

Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.

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