Exam 1 Reading Questions

“Fast Food, Poverty Wages”

1.) Who are the authors? What gives them the credibility to conduct this study?

2.) According the article, what do the authors identify as the public cost of low wage jobs in the fast food industry? What must core fast food workers rely on in order to sustain themselves and their families?

3.) What are poverty wages? Why do employers pay their workers so little? Why are benefits limited?

4.) What four public programs do working families rely on for support?

5.) What criteria did the researchers use to arrive at their conclusions? What data sources did they rely on?

6.) What years did they examine? What are the hidden costs associated with low wage work?

7. Which industries have the highest levels of program enrollment? Which public program has significantly higher programs costs?

8.) Fast food jobs not only have low pay; what other benefits are not offered to workers by employers? Why are fast food jobs more likely to be part time?

9.) What are the implications of this study?

10.) What do the researchers contend must be done in order to address this persistent issue? Hint: There are three recommendations they make.

Reading #2 “ International Business: A 20 Year G.M. Parts Migration to Mexico”

1.) The article is dated June 24, 1998. Why would Dr.Araiza assign a piece from 20 years ago?

2.) Why would companies move their parts factories to Mexico? Why did the United Automobile Workers union claim that General Motors is “putting America last”?

3.) How has the North American Free Trade Agreement increased financial advantages for companies to produce parts in Mexico? Are Mexican auto workers unionized?

4.) How have the lives of American and Mexican auto workers been impacted by General Motors’ decision to lower labor costs? What gains/losses have they experienced?

5.) Are American and Mexican workers valued by General Motors for the work that they produce? Why or why not?

6.) How does the New York Times reporter normalize/ center business interests in the piece?

Reading #3: Lareau, "Social Class Differences in Family School Relationships"

1.) What types of communities did Lareau focus her study on? Why did she select these particular communities? What did they have in common?

2.) What was Lareau's argument? What methods did she use to conduct her study?

3.) Describe the differences between Colton School and Prescott School.

4.) How did the parents whose children attended the school respond to opportunities for parental involvement at the school?

5.) Define the concept of cultural capital(using Lareau's description) and discuss how it influences a child's experience in school.