This assignment asks you to (1) use your sociological imagination to analyze childhood
poverty in the United States. Watch the film Poor Kids, a Frontline documentary released in
2012 and updated in 2017 on PBS. This film shows what poverty is like from the
perspective of American children. Poor Kids is approximately 55 minutes long; https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/poor-kids/
Use Poor Kids and course materials –exclusively– to answer the questions below. The
purpose of this paper is to review and process course information; as such there is no need
to use external sources. Focus on the materials in the Section One and Section Five folders.
1. Provide evidence that childhood poverty is a public issue in the United States.
2. Describe the personal troubles associated with child poverty in the United States.
3. What macro-level social forces (social structures) contribute to and/or cause child
poverty in the United States.
4. Lastly, use functionalism or conflict theory to explain the persistence of childhood
poverty in the United States. Hint: use specific ideas from the theory to support your
Review The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All by Herbert Gans and Paradigms and Stratification by David M. Newman; plan to use this information in your theoretical analysis (question #4)
Essays should be 500-750 words in length. Work to keep your responses in this range; I’m
looking for quality over quantity. This length requirement is to give you a sense of the
minimum level of detail expected in your writing. Papers should demonstrate that you
understand the information well enough to explain your ideas in your own words, can
draw from course content to support your ideas, and provide original examples where
appropriate. Plan to use course sources, exclusively, to complete this assignment and to cite
your sources/attach a works cited page using the MLA or APA format.
Specifically, you will be graded on:
1. The quality of your answer content: Did you demonstrate critical thinking in your
response? Did you integrate specific facts and ideas from the assigned readings,
videos, and activities into your writing? Did you use sociological concepts in a
2. The clarity with which you present your ideas: Did you carefully proofread your
work? Are your ideas readily understandable to the reader?
3. The accuracy of your citing and works cited page: Did you use in-text citations? Is
your paraphrasing comprehensive? Did you attach a works cited page? Did you use
course sources exclusively?
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