Precious

1145 Words May 20th, 2013 5 Pages
Precious: A Case Study
Use sociological concepts to make sense out of the life of 16 year old Clareece
"Precious" Jones (an overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem), as
depicted in the 2009 film Precious. It’s based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
Note: Precious (part 1) and Precious (part 2) are two separate assignments with different dues dates, even though both
sections are presented in this single document. Please check the Course Calendar for the different due dates. Precious (part 1)
consists of questions 1-11. Precious (part 2) covers questions 12-27.
PART ONE
Chapters 1 & 2: Review
1. How does rational choice theory help explain why some economically marginalized
people, who feel caught in a cycle of poverty
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11. Use 3 sociological theories of deviance to explain why Precious’ mom was involved in
welfare fraud.
PART TWO
Chapter 8
12. In terms of the 5 major social class groups in the USA, what was the Precious’s ascribed
status? Explain how the social ranking she was born into affected her life experience and
opportunities.
13. How did her ascribed membership in a Pariah group (pp.241-242) affect her life
experience and opportunities?
14. Discuss her chances for social mobility. How likely is Precious to move up in the U.S.
class structure even if she finishes her education? When it comes to getting ahead, what
matters most family background or education?
15. According to Oliver and Sapiro (1995) the “wealth gap” between blacks and whites is
even greater than the income gap. Explain the origin and (social and cultural capital)
consequences of this wealth gap for Precious.
16. Since lack of ambition was clearly not the reason why Precious was poor, use
sociological concepts and theories to help you explain her poverty (p. 236). What macrolevel
structural forces within the society explain the origin of her poverty (see eHandout
“Factors Affecting Poverty”)? What cultural factors kept her poor?
17. Did social exclusion likely contribute to the poverty Precious experienced? Why or why
not?
18. Can…