The Sociological Imagination Multiple-Choice Questions

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Scenario 2

“Celebrities aren't the only ones giving their babies unusual names. Compared with decades ago, parents are choosing less common names for kids, which could suggest an emphasis on uniqueness and individualism, according to new research. Essentially, today's kids (and later adults) will stand out from classmates. For instance, in the 1950s, the average first-grade class of 30 children would have had at least one boy named James (top name in 1950), while in 2013, six classes will be necessary to find only one Jacob, even though that was the most common boys' name in 2007. The researchers suspect the uptick of unusual baby names could be a sign of a change in culture from one that applauded fitting in to today's emphasis on being unique and standing out.” (Bryner 2010)

Scenario 3

“Excerpts from a suicide letter suggest that Kevin Morrissey, a 51-year-old Berkeley man, killed his family in a murder-suicide this week because he was at a "financial breaking point" as the family skin-care business failed and because he found other work opportunities "unattractive" (Rayburn and Hill 2007).


Scenario 4

Black Soldiers in Jim Crow Texas introduces readers to African American soldiers who were assigned to one of four black regiments (9th and 10th Cavalries and 24th and 25th Infantries). Not only did these men bear arms and fight gallantly in the Spanish-American War, but at times, they used their military weapons in struggles for racial equality in the United States as well. More than three decades after the Emancipation Proclamation, black soldiers grew intolerant of ‘racial slurs, refusal of service at some businesses, and harassment.’ Texas’s ‘lower-status Hispanics, the bulk of the population…shared southern white prejudice against blacks. The war with Spain in 1898,’ Christian asserts, ‘acted as a catalyst that converted impatience into retaliation. The United States bestowed six Medals of Honor and twenty-six Certificates of Merit on their members, and all four regiments inspired laudatory press coverage.’ Yet these men faced the indignities of racism when serving at military installations in the United States” (Moore 1996:478).


Scenario 5

On the progressive care unit where she works, nurses regularly have five or more patients. Over the years, hospital procedures with which nurses assist have become more complicated, and patients are sicker. Brandon said there are not always enough nurses to go around. “You get your running shoes on, take off, and go,” Brandon said. “The current nursing shortage is just beginning in Wyoming,” said Julie Cann-Taylor, registered nurse and director of critical care at the hospital. “There had been a nursing vacancy rate of 3 to 4 percent at the hospital for years, but it jumped to 7 percent last fall,” she said. Matt Kaiser, director of human resources at the hospital, said there are about 40 registered nurse positions available, creating a vacancy rate of about 11 percent (Rupp 2007).


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