Critical thinking essay advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Stridder44, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hopefully there's someone educated enough on the topic to give me some advice.


    I'm writing a paper for my critical thinking class, which has to focus on a marker of Class (education, car, income, location, etc.). I was considering focusing on the car bit, but am having trouble coming up with a thesis. :confused:

    My professor is pretty unhelpful in giving us advice, otherwise I wouldn't be asking.
     
  2. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #2
    Ok what academic level is this for.
    how long
    and final

    How do you thing Cars are marker of class ?
    Just owning one ?
    the number own , two, three ?
    model?
    year ?
    value of car ?
    usage ofcar ?
     
  3. electroshock macrumors 6502a

    electroshock

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #3
    Cars. OK, let's break it down a bit. A couple of examples to get you started in thinking.

    How to get a car: financing. Do all people get attractive interest rates? Are there particular socioeconomic types that gets high rates or end up getting predatory loans to hope to afford a car? What about those who can't even afford a car or its upkeep (insurance, maintenance, inspection, registration, licensing, etc)?

    What kind of cars do different people drive and why? Would a sanitation management engineer (read: garbage truck driver) be driving a Lamborghini at home? How do what car you drive inform others of what class status you have? Its cost? Its looks? Its exclusivity? Type of dealership that sells them?

    Car driving experience: are all people treated equally regarding police stops? Would a celebrity, sports star, politician, well-known local resident be treated the same as someone of different ethnicity?

    I'm sure you can come up with lots more of stuff or to expand on anything useful further, and also to find supporting facts and numbers from good sources. Pick something (or somethings), stay on topic in the essay, focus on how and perhaps why cars relate to class. Have your chosen examples support a common theme that you open the essay with and then properly close it with.
     
  4. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    Mar 24, 2003
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    California
    #4

    This is a college course. It's a 4-6 page paper. The "car" marker was just an idea, but I could use any other Class marker (again: income, car, location, etc.).

    THANK YOU! I'm normally very good at writing essays (in fact I love writing them) but this critical thinking course has me looking at such small details, and this is where I'm struggling. Supposedly our next essay is on one word. :-\
     
  5. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    #5
    It's been a while since I've done Sociology at A-Level but Class divides into these social classes

    Upper Class (Group A)
    Middle Class (Group B)
    Lower Middle Class (Group C1)
    Skilled Manual Workers (Group C2)
    Unskilled Manual Workers (Group D)
    Student/unemployed/Elderly (Group E)

    These are the old classifications but still widely acceptable. In 2001 it was segmented more.

    With all of those markers, they all revolve around one thing. Income. What a person earns for a living, dictates what class they are in. So although you may wish to focus on a car, the type of car someone drives is what they can afford. Car's are used as fashion accessories. They tell other people if they're successful or not. You don't drive a brand new top spec Merc if you're a factory worker (Group D) for example.

    However, cars can be used as disguises aswell. Example; a banker driving a Mid-range VW Golf rather than BMW M3.

    This also applies to areas in which you live. If you earn around $80K a year, you're going to live somewhere nicer than someone earning $30K

    All of this also relates to education. The better the education, you are more likely to succeed although you do need to have intelligence aswell. More successful people tend to come from families who were Group C2 or above as Group C2 is usually classed as a national average wage.


    Alot of this is specific to my UK learning so in America it may differ, but the principles still stand. As I said, it's been about 4 years since I last studied Sociology so maybe a little background reading will do you good.

    There are 4 Key sociologists; Georg Simmel, Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber. Just some reading on them and their theories should steer you in the right direction. Just remember and submit those as research and credit anyone you quote. The only way you can comfortably write about this is to read as much as you can. You should be fine.
     
  6. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    I can't believe you came to a Mac forum for advice about this and you aren't considering writing about Macs being a marker of class in the computer/technology arena. It's no secret that no matter how humble we are deep down inside every one of us mac users secretly wonder why our friends and counterparts choose to remain in the PC world. We don't intend to be snobby or set out to view ourselves in a higher class, but it just kind of happens over time as we continue to watch "the unenlightened" struggle on the other side of the fence.

    For research you could easily look deeper into how Macs are portrayed in the media and the differing advertising strategies employed by apple vs. other technology companies. Do some personal interviews of mac users vs. pc users and ask questions that are slanted towards the topic. The whole business model Apple uses screams elitism and Steve Jobs is the poster boy for it. The secrecy aspect of product releases and the choice to not compete in specific markets because "we're just not interested in doing that" (meaning it's beneath us). C'mon, it's a perfect choice for a topic. You could even use quotes from posts you find here because we all know there are numerous threads beating the mac vs. pc dead horse to a pulp.

    Anyhow, whatever you decide upon good luck and have fun with it. :)
     
  7. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Very interesting perspective! I completely forgot about the social classes. I can't thank you guys enough for the help. :D

    Well, I would definitely consider that but, like I said, he specifically asked for a marker under Class. Also, yes this is a Mac forum, but I asked this under the Community Discussion forum which is "random discussions about anything" (taken from the description). Thank you for the good luck though.
     
  8. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #8
    I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't have posted here, sorry if it came across that way. I meant it more like, "hello, look where your posting, the answer is right in front of you". :p

    Do let us know what you decide on and how it turns out. I bet you do well.
     
  9. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Seattle, WA
    #9
    I would think you could write a 100 page paper just on what the car you drive says to other people regarding your status/class.
     
  10. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #10
    I tried last night to answer your previous post but it wouldn't load the page oddly.

    Anyway, I'd highly advise against talking about Mac's as they aren't a sign of class. It's a fashion statement for some and an informed choice in computing for others. On this basis, it doesn't show class. Students mainly have Mac's but it doesn't mean they are wealthy or have a well paid job.

    You could argue that different brands of cars are choice aswell, but my arguement to that is car makers pitch themselves as premium brands/cars for everyday living etc. Apple doesn't say, if you're wealthy, buy our products. They do it indirectly by having high profit margins but they want to sell their products to everyone. Last time I checked, Ferrari aren't lowering their prices for the nurse down the road.

    No worries, good luck and let us know how you do
     
  11. ddiogyn macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I'd say income was the least reliable marker of social class in the UK. The most obvious marker of social class in the UK is language (ie how you speak) which is directly related to education (ie where you went to school). You could win the lottery tomorrow, but if you were eg working class the sudden wealth wouldn't propel you up the social ladder overnight.
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #12
    Ok, so a point of clarification (for me):

    If you are going to write about cars, are you going to discuss cars that serve as Veblen goods? What about other goods that typically mark class in a different way, like yachts or planes (almost everyone can posses a car but very few can afford a plane)?

    Also, what must you discuss about the class marker? Should you explain why it is a class marker, what attributes are necessary for a class marker, etc? Must the class marker be a durable good (ie rare champagne can be a class marker but it can only be consumed once)?
     
  13. Stridder44 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    California
    #13
    So I just received my paper back a couple of days ago and got a B+. Not bad. Sufficed to say, I couldn't have done it without all the help. Thank you again guys. :)
     

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