Describe how Marx and Weber explain social inequalities, comparing and contrasting their views. For each theorist, what is class, and how does it explain social inequalities? How does each think about status, and how it relates to class? Make sure to define, in your own words, any terms that you use in your answer. Then, read the op-ed piece by Warren Buffett and the accompanying information about him. Compare and contrast how you think Marx and Weber would respond to Buffett?s call for higher taxes on the wealthy and why, drawing on your earlier arguments, and what you know about Marx and Weber?s theories about political interests and how those are linked to class and/or status.
INSTRUCTIONS: Answer all three questions, making sure each response is no longer than 2 typed pages, double spaced, in 12 point Times or Cambria font.
Number your answers and write your first and last name on each page as a header. There is no need to reproduce the question at the top of the page?this will take up space you could use for your answer.
It is important to use your own words to explain the different concepts and arguments you reference from authors or other materials that you cite in support of your answers. Therefore, please try to avoid direct quotations from readings, lectures and lecture slides. No reference list is needed for this exam. If you do include any direct quotations, make sure to cite them correctly.
To complete this exam, you will need to read a few news articles. The links for these are included at the end of the prompt. If you have any trouble accessing these, please let me know ASAP.
Please turn in your exam on bCourses with all three answers combined into one document. No hard copy is needed. The deadline for turning in the exam is before class on Thurs. Sept. 22. You are welcome to turn in your exam earlier.
1. Describe how Marx and Weber explain social inequalities, comparing and contrasting their views. For each theorist, what is class, and how does it explain social inequalities? How does each think about status, and how it relates to class? Make sure to define, in your own words, any terms that you use in your answer. Then, read the op-ed piece by Warren Buffett and the accompanying information about him. Compare and contrast how you think Marx and Weber would respond to Buffett?s call for higher taxes on the wealthy and why, drawing on your earlier arguments, and what you know about Marx and Weber?s theories about political interests and how those are linked to class and/or status.
2. Define and explain what economic, cultural and, social capital are, according to Bourdieu. Then describe, in your own words, his theory about how the three forms can be exchanged, and why someone might want to do this. Then, read the articles ?Cycling Matches the Pace and Pitches of Tech? and ?Silicon Valley?s Lust for High-End Bikes?. Explain the first article in terms of the theories you have discussed above?explaining what constitutes social and cultural capital in the articles, whether people are attempting to exchange different forms of capital, and what the implications of that might be, using information from the second article as needed to provide support.
3. Describe what a ?racial project? is, according to Omi and Winant, and how this concept fits into their larger theory of racial formation. Then, discuss past racial restrictions on naturalization in the U.S., as detailed in the film Race, The Power of an Illusion, as a racial project, making sure to explain how this example fits into the different dimensions of a racial project as described by the authors. Finally, identify something you think could be described as a racial project (and is not one of the examples in the article), describe it, and explain how it fits into Omi & Winant?s definition and any political implications it may have.
Links to materials needed for this exam, and copy of Buffett op-ed:
1) ?Stop Coddling the Super-Rich?, by Warren Buffett
An editorial appearing in The New York Times, Aug. 14, 2011
?OUR leaders have asked for ?shared sacrifice.? But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks?These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It?s nice to have friends in high places…
Last year my federal tax bill ? the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf ? was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income ? and that?s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office… Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country?s finances. They?ve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion? I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged? [extending a prior tax] cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get. But for those making more than $1 million ? there were 236,883 such households in 2009 ? I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more ? there were 8,274 in 2009 ? I would suggest an additional increase in rate. My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It?s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.?
About Warren Buffett? (From ?Warren Buffett is on a Radical Track? by Rana Foorhar, Time, Jan. 23, 2012
?He is the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and one of the world?s richest people.
?He is known for his personal frugality.
?He lives in Omaha, Nebraska, in the same house that he bought in 1958 for $31,500.
?He has pledged to give 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes.
?He drives his own car (a Cadillac), although he also does have a company jet called ?The Indefensible?.
?He endorsed and contributed to Barak Obama?s presidential campaign.
2) ?Cycling Matches the Pace and Pitches of Tech? by Sarah Max, New York Times, Aug. 25, 2016http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/26/business/dealbook/cycling-matches-the-pace-and-pitches-of-tech.html
?Silicon Valley?s Lust For High-End Bikes? by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, May 17, 2012 http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/silicon-valley-bike-scene-cycling/
3) Race, The Power of an Illusion, Episode 3, ?The House We Live In? (this particular segment starts about 10 min. in) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na-FTVOjOoQ