Essay Cove

Essay Cove

Sociological Imagination Assignment (Part 2)

Required Reading:
    • Ariely, Dan. Ted Talk: How equal do we want the world to be? You’d be surprised (Links to an external site.)


Watch all of the Dan Ariely Ted Talk video. Re-watch any parts you don’t understand on the first round. It is worth understanding. This is the same video from week 2. 

Using your own words, answer these questions:

1. Why do you think people didn’t want a completely equal distribution of wealth – why not have 20% of the wealth to each 20% of the people? Why should some quintiles have more than 20% -more than their ‘share’ – and some have less than 20% – less than their share? (Remember the Davis-Moore theory from SOCI 1301 – hint, hint.)

2. Why is the ‘knowledge gap’ he talks about important – what effect might not knowing have on people and their views about society and people in the different social classes?

3. Think about whether or not the USA fits the philosopher John Rawls’ test for a ‘just society’, that Dan Ariely references at the start of this video. (You can go back to the start of the video to be sure you understand what Rawls meant by a just society or read the notes below.) Would you be willing to be dropped into the USA blindly, with no knowledge in advance of what your social status would be? Why or why not?

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