ERIC Number: EJ890048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Reference Count: 10
What Kind of Car Am I? An Exercise to Sensitize Students to Social Class Inequality
Tiemann, Kathleen A.; Davis, Karen; Eide, Terri L.
Teaching Sociology, v34 n4 p398-403 Oct 2006
Americans are said to have a love affair with cars. Recent magazine articles have addressed automobiles as objects of status and desire and how particular cars have become American icons. The popularity of "Car Talk" on National Public Radio and television shows like "Monster Garage" and "Overhaulin'" also suggest their ongoing fascination with cars. Given this interest, they authors decided to use cars to help students think about the role stereotypes play in their views on social class inequality. Although modern society is characterized by social class inequality, teaching students about it is difficult. A key source of this trouble is students' strong beliefs about why particular individuals or groups fail or succeed in American society. This article presents an activity which provides students with the opportunity to apply sociological concepts and theories, to test their "common sense" assumptions about the world and to recognize statements that are not very sociologically informed.
Descriptors: Social Class, Stereotypes, Motor Vehicles, Social Status, Social Bias, Student Attitudes, Learning Activities, Social Theories, Consciousness Raising, Social Stratification, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States