1. Why did compulsory education arise in the 19th century in the U.S.? How do formal and informal education differ from one another?
2. Define education. What do functionalists and conflict theorists see as the purpose, process and outcomes of formal education? Which of these theories do you think is accurate? Why?
3. What is a “self-fulfilling prophecy?” Give an example of one and explain how it might impact how students perform academically.
4. Of course, education is incredibly important in our society, so much so, in fact, that some call us a credential society. A major reason for this is that our economy is based more and more on services that require advanced training and education. What is a credential society and what are some of the advantages that more education brings?
5. What is the hidden curriculum and how does it support the status quo? Provide an example of the hidden curriculum you experienced while in the K-12 system.
6. How do schools reflect and contribute to social inequality? Distinguish between de jure segregation and de facto segregation. To what degree are schools segregated today?
7. What are some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic affected education? What changes occurred within the educational institution that arose to adapt to the changing needs of society?
8. In your textbook, religion is defined as “the set of beliefs and practices regarding sacred things that help a society understand the meaning and purpose of life.” One of the key terms in this definition, sacred, is unique to the religion institution. How do sociologists distinguish between beliefs and practices that are sacred versus those that are profane? Give examples of each in your explanation.
9. Religion is a social institution that has existed in all human societies; however, the form of religion has varied over time. Specifically, there have been animistic, polytheistic and monotheistic religions. Explain each and discuss the form of society where they are typically found. Why do you think these particular forms of religion are aligned with these specific types of societies?
10. What are the largest religions around the world today? When were these religions founded and where are these religions primarily practiced?
11. According to the three major theoretical perspectives, religion serves different purposes. Outline the functional, conflict and interaction theories on religion. Which of these perspectives do you agree with? Why?
12. There are several types of religious organizations, including the following: church, sect and cult. Compare, contrast and provide examples of each of the above.
13. The U.S. is interesting in a number of ways regarding religion. How does the U.S. compare to other countries when it comes to religious belief and practice, and what are the main trends in religious belief and activity in the U.S. today?
14. What are the main correlates associated with religious affiliation and religiosity in the U.S.?
15. Two of the major trends in the U.S. related to religion are the increases in secularism and religious conservatism. Outline the trends in each and explain what you consider to be the underlying causes of each.