Posted September 5, 2008
For years, I’ve taught sociology at a community college in New York City. I’m always looking for current examples to illustrate how class, race and gender work in contemporary capitalist socities. Bristol Palin’s pregnancy (itself a tribute to the effectiveness of the right’s “abstinence education”) provides such a good example of the intersection of race, gender and class, I am offering the following extra credit essay question on my final exam:
In a well written, well argued and well reasoned essay– drawing on sociological concepts and theories we have discussed in class, please answer the following question:
Why is teenage pregnancy and motherhood considered a social pathology when it occurs among poor women and women of color; while it is considered an act of responsibility if you are white and upper middle class and your mother is running for Vice-President of the United States?
All answers must be typewritten, no less than one double-spaced typewritten page, no more than two double-spaced typewritten pages.
Readers of Solidarity’s webzine are encouraged to reply with their own thoughts about this paradox!