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Question Description

Prompte: Read the assigned chapter and create an outline summarizing and analyzing the story. Use the major lens of race/class and gender, especially look for institutional constraints (education, housing policy, welfare bureaucracy, criminal (in)justice, religion, health, employment, environmental racism), as well as other key sociological concepts. Social psychological observations are OK, as long as also an attempt to connect to macro-level analysis.

Answer the questions separately from the outline summary and analysis. These questions will also serve to prepare for the papers on Fire in the Ashes:

1) What do the individual and family stories of struggle indicate about life chances in the inner city, especially the South Bronx, NY, in terms of racial, ethnic, class, gender inequality?

2-) What are some environmentally toxic impacts on poor communities of color and how does the NIMBY effect operate to centralize polluting industries?

3) How do personal and community stories help to illustrate the power of structural constraints, such as poverty, as well as illuminate the resilience and adaptation skills of the “survivors” who transcended the social conditions in Mott Haven?

4) Indicate some potential solutions for alleviating and perhaps solving ongoing political/economic/social/environmental struggles—that would bring hope for living together in multicultural communities.

5) Think about how at least two specific individuals’ stories were shaped by major social institutions: economics, political policy, criminal justice issues and practices, education or lack thereof, media representations, availability or lack of health care, etc. Remember that structures create both constraints, and potential opportunities for choices and life chances.

Here is the link for the chapter to read (chapter 8) from the book Fire in the Ashes by Jonathan Kozol.