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Moreover, in the war on drugs, the criminality associated with specific drugs is not necessarily linked to the physical threat to health posed by that drug, but by the socioeconomic groups that are more highly associated with those drugs. For example, crack cocaine offenses are subject to greater punishments than powder cocaine offenses, despite there being no logical distinction between the two different types of drugs. However, powder cocaine is more expensive and is considered an affluent drug, while crack cocaine is considered a lower-class drug. The war on drugs is deviant because it punishes some people for addiction, while there is no punishment for tobacco or alcohol addicts.
6. Does the death penalty serve as a deterrent to crime? If so, why are crime rates still so high in the U.S.
The death penalty, as applied in the United States, does not serve as a deterrent to crime. The U.S. has higher murder rates than many comparable nations with no death penalty, and death penalty states have comparable or higher murder rates than most states that do not have the death penalty. However, that does not mean that the death penalty cannot be a deterrent to crime. For the death penalty to deter crime, it would have to be an automatic penalty for a specific crime, there would have to be no exceptions, and the punishment would have to be applied immediately. None of those conditions applies to the death penalty as practiced in the United States. Moreover, it is important to understand how most murders occur when examining whether there is a deterrence effect; life in prison or even substantial jail terms and their deprivation of liberty are going to serve as deterrents for people who are thinking about their behavior rationally. The reality is that most murderers are not engaging in rational thought at the time of their crimes, therefore deterrents, including the death penalty, will not be effective.
1. What is slavery and in what ways and where does it still exist today?
Slavery is when a person is considered the property of another and subject to the total direction and control of another person. Slavery exists everywhere today. It is illegal in most countries, where human trafficking is prosecuted as a crime. However, in other countries, even those where slavery is illegal, it is still practiced openly and with little social condemnation. For example, child slavery is a tremendous problem in modern-day Haiti, where child slaves are called restaveks and are given by biological parents to a family so that the child can do housework in exchange for school, food, and housing, but with no guarantee that these children will be treated appropriately. However, most modern slavery is both underground and out-in-the-open. The international sex trade is largely composed of women, girls, and boys who have been forced into the sex-trade and are unable to leave it.
2. Talk about the class system in the United States, what class do you perceive you belong to, why, what kind of chances of mobility do you have in this system?
It is difficult to discuss the class system in the United States, because that class system appears to be disappearing. The United States has been known for its middle class and most people in America where somewhere between lower class and upper class, occupying the middle class position that many people linked to overall American prosperity. However, the percentage of people in the lower class has gotten larger while the upper class controls a larger percentage of wealth in the United States. There is some evidence that the middle class is disappearing, with greater separation between those who would have once been considered upper middle class and those who would have been considered lower middle class, with the true middle class disappearing. I perceive that I belong to the true middle class; I come from a family that has sufficient funds to buy housing, transportation, food, utilities, and other necessities without any difficulties, I have never known hunger, I have never been homeless or in danger of being homeless, yet I do not have consistent access to discretionary funds for purchases beyond necessities. I feel like I have limited mobility in this system; I may be able to achieve the upper middle class, but the probability of me entering the actual upper class is almost nonexistent. Likewise, because I come from a middle class family, I will probably never be in the lower socioeconomic class, because I have a safety net including health insurance and family savings that would be available to me in the event of an emergency.
3. Discuss Karl Marx and his views of class differentiation.
Marx believed that class differentiation was the key way that society was divided into subgroups. Marx believed that differences in socioeconomic classes were more important than other distinctions in society, but did not suggest that those other distinctions (like race) might not be used to distract people from socioeconomic class-based distinctions. Marx basically took a two class view of class distinctions and focused on the bourgeoisie, which would be the upper class, and owned the means of production, and the proletariat, which is the working class.
4. Is stratification universal; use examples from functionalist and conflict views.
Stratification appears to be universal; there are no societies that do not have differing social classes. According to functionalists, society has to be composed of a variety of social positions, meaning the social inequality is necessary to ensure that all roles in a society are filled. For example, if everyone were wealthy, then no one would be willing to do the demeaning jobs in society, like garbage removal. The conflict view of stratification is that people engage in conflict over scarce resources, which is one of the sources of social class stratification. Conflict theorists believe that social stratification leads to instability and social change; however, they do not describe any societies, whether existing or historical, that have not had different social classes.
5. Talk about poverty and its impact in our culture; also discuss how our current economic situation benefits some while depriving others.
The impact of poverty in our culture is almost impossible to describe. Poverty is so linked to the idea of the intentional stripping of human potential from people that it seems almost impossible to conclude that poverty is anything but an intentional means of keeping a group of people in a subservient position. For example, it is widely recognized that childhood poverty is linked to poor performance in school; students enter school behind wealthier peers and the gap widens as children grow older. The theoretically equal educational opportunities that children of all social classes have grow more and more disparate as children age, because, even high performing children in poorer schools are going to be negatively impacted by low-performing classmates, and might experience pressure to leave school in order to help support the family. Without an education, those children have no real chance at escaping poverty. The result is that poverty can be described as cyclical, and the whole idea that one cannot escape from poverty becomes something that even young children in many impoverished communities embrace. To them, poverty becomes the norm.
The current economic situation presents a great example of the old truism, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The nation is experiencing a financial crisis that was largely the result of privileged wealthy people making bad decisions. The poor people did not bail them out; but middle class taxpayers did bail them out. However, it is that same group of middle class taxpayers that is most vulnerable to many of the resulting foreclosures, loss of retirement income, and stock damages that have troubled the U.S. financial market. Years after the beginning of the recession, U.S. corporations appear strong and healthy, but U.S. citizens continue to struggle financially.
Is the War on Drugs "working" for our society? How is it? How is it not? What are key issues that surround this issue? Please watch the following videos and make comments that address it as well (There is adult language in this video, be advised) http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/american-drug-war/
The war on drugs is a ridiculous farce that, like Prohibition, has done nothing to meaningfully mitigate the impact of drug abuse on American society, while criminalizing a broad group of American. Politicians discussing the War on Drugs equate all drug crimes together, making it seem as if the average end-level drug user engages in the same criminal practices as high-level drug users. The fear mongering leads many to believe that illegal drug users are somehow inherently violent criminals, while alcohol is a contributing factor in more violent crimes than illegal drugs.
The War on Drugs is not a war on drugs at all; it is a war on…[continue]
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