****FIRST POSSIBILITY: ESSAY 1A****In class this week, Professor Avery mentioned that the heart and soul of thinking sociologically is to “make the familiar strange” and “question what seems obvious.” What do you think he meant by that? What does it mean to make the familiar strange? What does it mean to question what seems obvious? Why is that important to do? On the document header, please clearly indicate that you are responding to “Essay 1A” and make sure the file you submit is .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Your response must be between 600-700 words. ****SECOND POSSIBILITY: ESSAY 1B****Nowadays, more people than ever before are attending institutions of higher learning (i.e. college). Today, many high school students think that attending college is mandatory; there is no other option but to attend college after graduating high school. This sentiment was strongly expressed in one of this week’s course readings. “I think you need to go to college. It’s just like high school and elementary school and middle school. I don’t know why, but I have that idea in my head.”Should everyone go to college? Yes or no? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support whatever position you take on this matter.In writing up your response, please reference at least one of the course readings that was assigned this week (“Degree by Default” and “Anti Social Debts”) as well as material presented during lecture. Don’t forget to do that! Points will be taken off for failing to reference reading/lecture material.You can write the essay in the first person, and feel free to use either APA or MLA style for referencing materials. On the document header, please clearly indicate that you are responding to “Essay 1B” and make sure the file you submit is .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Your response must be between 600-700 words.The following two files are two sample papers. If you do well, I can give you some extra tips! Thank you!
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SOC$1$
Tuesday$3:00$pm$to$3:50$pm$
698$words$
Should$Everyone$Attend$College?$
$
The$American$Dream$is$a$phrase$coined$by$James$Truslow$Adams$in$1931$which$in$short$
means$all$Americans$can$achieve$their$life$goals$intertwined$with$social$status$growth$by$means$
of$initiative,$determination,$and$the$equality$for$all$opportunities$provided$by$the$United$States.$
The$Declaration$of$Independence$itself$states,$“all$men$are$created$equal”$alongside$the$natural$
human$rights$of$“life,$liberty,$and$the$pursuit$of$happiness.”$Today,$the$American$dream$is$
undoubtedly$applicable$to$modern$American$youths$and$college$educations,$with$those$of$all$
races$and$backgrounds$interested$in$creating$a$better$life$for$their$future$selves$take$the$
initiative$to$enroll$in$higher$level$education,$and$that$a$Bachelor’s$degree$is$the$only$path$to$
achieving$this$desired$lifestyle,$or$so$they’ve$always$believed.$With$enrollment$numbers$
reaching$new$extreme$peaks,$Randal$Collins$in$his$book!Credential!Society$argues$that$
“increasingly$higher$credentials$would$be$required$to$acquire$the$same$social$status,”$or$in$
other$words,$a$credential$inflation$is$at$play$at$this$very$moment.$Thus,$in$order$to$reach$the$
modern$American$dream$of$a$stable$job$to$in$turn$create$a$comfortable$life,$not$only$is$a$
Bachelor’s$degree$required,$but$even$graduate$degrees$may$eventually$be$necessary$in$order$
compete$with$fellow$peers$in$the$hopes$of$achieving$a$wellVrounded$social$status$and$over$all$
“successful”$life.$As$a$result,$college$educations$have$become$disguised$to$Americans$as$
necessary,$leading$a$majority$of$youths$to$attend$college,$going$through$the$motions$of$getting$
a$degree$regardless$of$their$desire$to$learn$or$not.$Essentially,$this$ignores$the$question$of$
whether$or$not$college$is$truly$the$right$option$for$everyone,$and$indirectly$forces$the$majority$
to$attend$a$university$anyways.$Although$it$is$true$that$everyone$should$have$the$equal$
opportunity$to$attend$college$if$they$desire$to,$it$should$not$be$treated$as$one$size$fits$all,$and$
only$those$who$truly$wish$to$further$their$education$in$the$interest$of$learning$should$continue$
to$achieve$a$Bachelor’s$degree.$$
$
In$April$Yee’s$article,$“Degree$by$Default,”$she$studies$and$interviews$34$first$year$
college$students$over$the$course$of$one$year$and$asks$them$many$questions$pertaining$to$
whether$or$not$they$even$wanted$to$go$to$college$or$the$reasoning$behind$their$attendance.$
The$response$was$overwhelming$in$that$the$majority$of$the$students$revealed$that$their$college$
attendance$was$something$they$felt$was$forced,$whether$it$be$from$the$incentive$to$please$
their$parents$or$that$it$was$the$only$path$to$a$successful$life$in$modern$day$United$States.$This$
results$in$a$trend$of$a$lack$of$commitment$to$school$work$to$perform$the$best,$but$rather$to$
perform$at$an$average$level$simply$to$receive$a$degree,$all$the$while$flushing$tuition$money$
down$the$drain,$or$more$significantly,$racking$up$student$loans$to$suffocating$levels.$In$Andrew$
Ross’$article$“AntiVSocial$Debts,”$he$even$compares$college$educations$to$indenture$as$“a$
college$degree$is$considered$a$passport$to$a$decent$livelihood,$workforce$entrants$must$go$into$
debt$in$return$for$the$right$to$labor.”$Although$it$is$valuable$to$note$that$many$work$places$
today$look$to$hire$employees$with$college$degrees$due$to$the$fact$that$they$display$
commitment$and$intelligence$in$an$individual,$this$seems$to$be$the$only$incentive$to$attend$
college,$whether$or$not$the$job$truly$even$requires$higher$level$education.$Those$with$natural$
talents$in$sales,$cosmetology,$musical$performance,$and$more$should$not$be$required$to$obtain$
a$degree$simply$to$even$get$an$interview.$Thus,$the$issue$lies$within$work$forces$and$their$
methods$of$indirectly$obligating$the$majority$to$receive$a$college$education$to$get$a$job.$Careers$
such$as$engineering,$healthcare,$and$teaching$clearly$demonstrate$a$need$for$more$in$depth$
education$and$in$turn$legitimize$the$need$for$a$degree.$However,$with$the$unsaid$societal$
imposition$of$college$educations$even$for$those$looking$for$more$simple$jobs,$the$careers$of$
many$are$not$only$delayed$but$also$plagued$with$debt$and$exhaustion.$In$conclusion,$the$
necessity$of$a$college$degree$should$no$longer$be$the$case,$but$should$instead$be$encouraged$
only$for$those$truly$interested$in$deeper$learning$and$more$advanced$careers.$$
Sociology(1(
Word(Count:(674(
(
(
Essay(#1(–(College(for(All(
Higher(education(paves(the(way(for(acquiring(rewarding(jobs(and(leading(successful(
lives.(However,(everyone(should(not(have(to(go(to(college(to(reach(such(goals.(Certain(jobs(do(
not(require(higher(education(in(order(for(someone(to(become(certified(or(licensed.(Increased(
college(enrollment(and(graduation(would(contribute(to(degree(inflation(in(an(already(
competitive(job(market.((In(addition,(college(can(be(very(costly(and(result(in(thousands(of(
dollars(in(debt(for(many(students.(Those(with(loan(debt(can(also(easily(fall(prey(to(government(
organizations(with(unfortunate(consequences.(It(is(thus(impractical(for(students(to(believe(that(
college(is(the(natural(and(only(choice(after(high(school.(Having(everyone(go(to(college(would(be(
extremely(burdensome(on(both(the(job(market(and(on(students’(financial(conditions.(
Although(college(education(is(a(valuable(tool,(it(is(not(needed(for(a(wide(spectrum(of(
career(choices.(People(hope(for(jobs(that(will(be(flexible(and(financially(rewarding.(However,(as(
Professor(Avery(mentioned(in(Week(1’s(Lecture(2,(not(all(of(these(“good”(jobs(require(higher(
education.(For(example,(a(plumber(can(earn(a(very(good(income(and(even(own(a(plumbing(
business(without(needing(a(college(degree.(People(who(inspire(to(have(these(types(of(careers(
would(be(earning(unnecessary(degrees(if(they(went(to(college.(If(everyone(goes(to(college(and(
earns(a(degree,(degree(inflation(would(rapidly(rise(and(negatively(affect(the(job(market.(
Everyone(would(be(considered(equal(in(the(social(sphere,(adding(to(the(competitiveness(of(the(
job(market.(In(the(article(“Degree(by(Default,”(a(student(perfectly(summarizes(this(situation(
stating,(“with(everything(that’s(going(on,(a(college(degree(is(almost(like(a(high(school(diploma”(
(Yee,(48).(As(a(result,(college(degrees(would(no(longer(make(applicants(stand(out(and(new(
graduates(would(have(a(very(rough(time(establishing(their(careers.(In(addition,(having(everyone(
earn(a(degree(will(make(the(notion(of(college(less(impactful(and(“not(much(of(an(opportunity(at(
all”((Yee,(50).(If(everyone(reaches(for(and(obtains(the(same(goal,(that(goal(would(no(longer(be(
considered(special(or(truly(worthy.(Everyone(would(acquire(the(same(social(standing(and(be(
driven(to(take(additional(steps(to(have(an(advantage(in(the(job(market.(This(extra(effort(could(
be(the(pursuit(of(a(higher(degree,(which(would(only(increase(the(financial(burden(that(many(
students(face(after(undergraduate(school.(
Earning(a(degree(that(could(be(useless(to(one’s(career(path(will(also(cause(an(
unreasonable(amount(of(debt(to(burden(one’s(life.(The(large(increase(in(tuition(costs(and(the(
notion(of(college(as(being(a(worthwhile(investment(has(resulted(in(an(incredible(accumulation(
of(student(loan(debt(across(the(United(States.(As(Professor(Avery(shared(in(Week(1’s(Lecture(3,(
the(“average(graduate(of(the(Class(of(2013(had($35,200(in(student(loan(debt.”(This(staggering(
amount(of(debt(can(have(a(significant(consequence(on(a(person’s(life.(In(the(article(“Anti^Social(
Debts,”(Andrew(Ross(describes(the(cost(of(missing(loan(payments(as(leading(to(“a(damaged(
credit(score(…([generating](additional(obstacles(to(finding(employment”((Ross,(30).(Therefore,(
not(only(would(increased(degree(inflation(prevent(finding(work(if(everyone(went(to(college,(but(
the(inability(to(pay(student(loans(back(in(a(timely(manner(would(also(have(a(severe(impact(on(
finding(proper(employment.(In(addition,(student(loan(debt(will(undeniably(have(to(be(repaid(in(
one(way(or(another.(Ross(explains(that(“student(loans(are(non^dischargeable(through(
bankruptcy,(and(…(collection(agencies(have(been(granted(extraordinary(powers(to(extract(
payments”((Ross,(29).(This(would(place(people(in(a(very(scary(situation,(as(they(would(be(under(
both(stress(and(scrutiny(to(repay(their(loans(as(quickly(as(possible(to(avoid(repercussions.(
In(conclusion,(college(is(not(for(everyone(and(should(not(be(considered(as(the(only(
possible(choice(after(high(school.(If(someone(does(not(need(or(wish(to(have(higher(education,(
college(should(be(avoided(in(order(to(prevent(the(negative(consequences(of(degree(inflation(
and(student(loan(debt.(
(
Bibliography(
(
Avery,(Jacob.(“Week(1:(Lectures(2(and(3.”(Introduction(to(Sociology.(Irvine,(California.(
(
Yee,(April.(“Degree(by(Default.”(Contexts,(vol.(11,(no.(4,(2012,(pp.(46–50.,((
(
doi:10.1177/1536504212466331.( (
(
Ross,(Andrew.(“Anti^Social(Debts.”(Contexts,(vol.(11,(no.(4,(2012,(pp.(28–32.,((((((((((((
(
doi:10.1177/1536504212466328.(
(
(

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