Basing yourself on the sociological arguments, data, and evidence we have studied so far this semester (not
your personal opinions or experience), make an argument as to whether (or not) –and/or to what extent–our
society is, indeed, such a meritocracy. What would be the position of Marxists and functionalists on this issue?
You must address all of these issues in order to get full credit for the essay. You must provide evidence in the
form of data and citations from the course material to substantiate your points.
In answering this question, you must make use of the articles by Lareau, Anyon, Engels, and Davis and Moore,
and Tumin. You may also make use of other material covered in the class. You may not use anything other
than the readings, activities, lectures, etc. covered in this course to write your essay. Do not go to,, Wikipedia, or any other outside source to write your essay.
Required concepts
Below is a list of concepts that you must use in writing your essay. The concepts must be used in an accurate
and meaningful manner. When you use a concept in the essay, highlight it in bold.
Social structure
Social institutions
Social mobility
Cultural capital
Organic solidarity
Social capital

Sample Solution