Community and Families
Global and Cultural Studies
Social Justice & Inequality
We welcome students interested in exploring fundamental questions about us—people who change and are changed by our differences, similarities, and the ways we identify and organize ourselves in various social groups. Therefore, this exam is for students interested in studying sociology. However, since sociology is rarely taught in secondary schools, students who major in it usually develop an interest after they arrive at college and take an introductory course.
Students invited to this exam will be expected to answer one of the following questions. Time allowed: 60 minutes. Participants will also be invited for face-to-face interviews (students will spend one hour writing the exam, and from 15-30 minutes in small group or individual interviews, depending on the number of applicants.)
1. Sexual norms vary across time and culture. From the Roaring 1920s to the more conservative norms of the 1950s to the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, and more restraint again in the 1980s and 1990s, and now the current hook-up culture we’ve seen an ebb and flow between sexual promiscuity and more conservative sexual norms. What might explain the whys beneath these fluctuations? How do social values, national trends and events, and changing social structures influence the sexual choices of individuals? Imagine yourself as an RA at a public university campus, the Dean of Students at a high school or college, or a high school counselor or teacher. How would understanding what drives or explains the fluctuations of sexual norms in our recent history help you know how to address the hook-up culture at your school?
2. In recent decades, women have made great strides toward equality with men in the spheres of education and paid work. The percent of bachelor’s degrees earned by women tipped from 44% in 1972 to 58% in 2006 (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). Women have also advanced into the upper echelons of America’s highest corporate positions; yet women continue to be culturally labeled and socially expected to be the primary caretakers of children. The 1950s and 1960s model of male breadwinner and female homemaker no longer describes the majority of families today. Discuss how separate spheres for men and women continue to permeate the American cultural ethos. Also, describe what the media has labeled “The Mommy Wars.” How has the media reflected the complexities, and/or exacerbated the realities of working mothers’ and stay-at-home mothers’ lives?
3. We are a nation built by immigrants --- past, present and future. With the exception of Native Americans, who were already here, and African Americans, who were brought as slaves, we are a nation made up of multiethnic and multicultural people groups. The most dramatic consequence of new patterns of immigration is that the mix of ethnic subpopulations has shifted. More than 1/3 of all children in the US are non-white and census projections put today’s minority groups surpassing the white population between 2050 and 2060. If the end of “white America” is a cultural and demographic inevitability, what will the new American look like? How will white Americans fit into this new picture and what evidence do we have that a post-white America will be either less racially divided --- or more so?
If you have questions regarding this scholarship, please contact Melanie Hulbert at firstname.lastname@example.org