This assignment is designed to help students become familiar with aspects of
socioeconomic inequality and the role social institutions and social structures play in
perpetuating these inequalities. It addresses the FKL dimensions of Critical Thinking,
Inquiry-based Learning, Human and Cultural Diversity, and Ethical Perspectives.
Step 1: Think critically about the readings, notes, and class discussions about
stratification and structures of inequality.
Step 2: Explore the website www.playspent.org , an interactive web-based game that
simulates the experiences of individuals trying to live “paycheck-to-paycheck.”
Step 3: Reflect on the experience. Be sure to not only discuss the outcome of your
game but also include the scenarios presented to you as well as the decisions that you
made as you navigated the simulation. Here, it is crucial to include discussions of social
institutions and social structures in their role in perpetuating socioeconomic
Step 4: Reflect on your experience in light of your understanding of relative versus
absolute poverty. Compare and contrast the ways in which local poverty differs from
Step 5: Generate a report or creative presentation summarizing your findings. The
report must be 2 pages (no more, no less—12 pt font with 1 inch margins on all
sides) in which:
(1) the first page uses sociological concepts to explain social stratification expressly
discussing AT LEAST 2 of the three sociological schools of thought and
(2) the second page offers STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS to social stratification (ie, not
“teach the children well” or “I will make better decisions”).
Add a half page with third sociological school of though