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MCAT Monday: Social Inequality

Social stratification and access to resources influence well-being.

Social stratification and inequality affect all human societies, and shape the lives of all individuals by affording privileges to some and positioning others at a disadvantage. Foundational Concept 10 focuses on the aspects of social inequality that influence how we interact with one another, as well as how we approach our health and the healthcare system. (via AAMC)

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1. Structural theories of stratification predict that groups with low positions in social hierarchies experience high rates of mental health problems. The “double jeopardy” or “triple jeopardy” hypotheses postulate that groups that are subordinate in multiple stratification systems such as gender, race, and class are especially high risk. These hypotheses best demonstrate which of the following concepts? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Cultural bias

  • B: Social constructionism

  • C: Intersectionality

  • D: Symbolic interactionism

2. "The main cause of poverty in society is the lack of marketable skills and knowledge. This is due to educational inequality among different social groups. Therefore, the most effective policy to reduce/eliminate poverty is such a one that aims at providing all social groups with ample educational or training opportunities to acquire marketable skills and knowledge." Which sociological perspective can best support this policy proposal? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Structuralist perspective

  • B: Microsociological perspective

  • C: Symbolic interactionism

  • D: Social constructionism

3. The “broken windows hypothesis” describes the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on the exacerbation of other crimes. The hypothesis posits that maintaining and monitoring urban environments to prevent small crimes such as vandalism (breaking windows) or public drinking helps to create an atmosphere of order, and prevents more serious crimes from happening. This exemplifies which of the following theory Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Social disorganization theory

  • B: Social stratification theory

  • C: Social constructionism

  • D: Functionalism

4. Which of the following is an example of a formal social control mechanism for crimes?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Neighbors

  • B: Family

  • C: Friends

  • D: Police

5. Which of the following is the main argument Karl Marx makes for the lack of a proletariat revolution? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: The presence of a false class consciousness. Workers mistakenly identify with the interests of the capitalists.

  • B: The workers do not own the means of production.

  • C: Capitalists are growing wealthier and more powerful.

  • D: The lack of a class consciousness. Workers do not have a shared identity.

6. Which of the following is NOT an example of the “social disorganization model”? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: High levels of poverty in an area contribute to higher levels of street crime in the same area.

  • B: High levels of residential mobility contributes to the instability of an area, likely leading to higher levels of street crime.

  • C: Racial and ethnic heterogeneity contribute to lower levels of cohesiveness in an area. The low cohesiveness may contribute to higher levels of street crime.

  • D: Individuals in an area learn deviant and criminal behavior by observing other people and witnessing the rewards or consequences that their behavior receives.

7. According to theorist Karl Marx, factory workers are a stratified social class, like cogs in a bigger societal machine. A factory worker loses the ability to determine his/her own destiny, and the ability to own the goods they produce. This concept can be referred to as: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: The superstructure

  • B: Alienation of labor

  • C: False consciousness

  • D: Bourgeoisie

8. The belief that poor people develop a unique value structure to deal with their lack of success in society because they are resigned to their lower socio-economic position is referred to as: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Differential association

  • B: Culture of poverty

  • C: Labeling

  • D: Structural racism

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