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Select ONE of the following topics/questions and write ONE essay of no more than
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Select ONE of the following topics/questions and write ONE essay of no more than 1600 words in
response. Save your essay in .docx. .doc or .rtf format, SUBMIT IT through Canvas to Turnitin,
Limit the use of sources other than required, recommended and optional readings,
and make sure that you properly cite those sources.
1. Present Gilman’s views on the “sexuo-economic relation” between males and females, in
human societies in general, and her own society in particular. Address her argument as to
the rationale for instituting and perpetuating excessive (or ‘unnatural’) “sex-distinction”. Is
(excessive) differentiation of individuals and their activities, thoughts, attitudes etc by sex
a/the cause of inequality and oppression based on sex-category? Is it a/the effect of the
latter? Both? Discuss.
2. Compare and contrast Gilman and (Marx and) Engels on the causes/bases and mechanisms
of gendered inequality and oppression.
3. Compare and contrast Mead’s conception of the relationship between the individual and
society to that of at least ONE other theorist we have covered in this class.
4. How does Mead define self-consciousness? What role does language play in the
development of self-consciousness? What roles do language and self-consciousness play in
social interaction (and vice-versa)? Support your answers drawing from the excerpts from
Mead’s work in CCST, the discussion offered by Edles and Appelrouth in CCST, and/or the
recommended/optional relevant readings through the course Canvas site).
5. Discuss Du Bois’s concepts of the color line, the veil, and double consciousness, using
concrete examples. What substantive/practical and theoretical issues does Du Bois’s use or
application of these concepts raise, and help him (and us) address?
6. Discuss the implications of color/race and/or sex/gender differentiation and inequality (as
discussed and theorized by Du Bois and/or Gilman) for Mead’s theory of communication and
resulting vision of a universal society, and vice-versa (pay attention to Mead’s discussion of
the limits to individuals taking the attitude of others whom they are affecting, CCST: 436-
7. Discuss the implications of Du Bois’ descriptions and analyses of the historical intersection of
‘race’ and ‘class’ in U.S. society (and beyond) for the current situation in U.S. society. Are the
increased presence (and visibility, even celebration) of non-White people in the middle and
upper echelons of the various institutions of economic, political and socio-cultural power and
influence, and the perennial presence (and new visibility) of White people in the lower
echelons of the same institutions, a sign or ‘proof’ that race is of decreasing significance in
determining the life-chances and well-being of people in our society?
8. Consider the implications of the ‘debate’ and conflict between the stances/responses to
mainstream U.S. society and culture represented by Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du
Bois on the part of oppressed, discriminated against, and/or excluded individuals and groups
for today’s U.S. society (and beyond). Is the incrementalist and accomodationist
strategy/stance preferable over the principled and unyielding strategy/stance? Is so, under
what circumstances and conditions? Discuss