Work with a group of classmates to construct a basic, needs-oriented budget for a family of a specified size (e.g., 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) for a month. Consider the estimated cost of rent or a mortgage, transportation, communication, food, clothing, school supplies, electricity, and so forth. When you have created an estimated budget, multiply it by 12 to determine how much your hypothetical family would need to meet its basic needs for a year. Compare your calculation with the government’s poverty threshold. Do your calculations suggest that the government’s estimate of what a family needs to cover basic needs is too low, too high, or about right?
With a group of your peers, each make a list of your personal statuses, both ascribed and achieved. Compare your lists. Which of your statuses carry the most influence? In what type of situations do your statuses matter more or less? Do you get advantages or disadvantages versus your peers based on your statuses?
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