Paper 1: Paper Topic Options


Instructions: Write a 5-6 page essay on the paper option of your choice. Please refer to the "Guidelines for Discussion Papers" on page 9 of your syllabus for details on length and formatting.

Option 1: Wealth, Economic Justice and White Privilege
Over the past few weeks, we have talked a lot about economic justice, however many of the articles that we have discussed have used statistics that were collected prior to the Great Recession that began in Fall of 2008. Using the issue of bank foreclosures on people's home that occurred during the Great Recession, write an essay comparing how the Great Recession has impacted at least two racial-ethnic groups. Be sure to consider your own social location (based on race, ethnicity, gender, class) as you write your paper. Be sure to include information, statistics and/or core concepts by Peggy MacIntosh, Lui et al., and Iris Marion Young. Also be sure to use information and evidence collected from reputable print new sources, public radio sources, and/or social justice organizations who work on the issue of Home Foreclosures.

Option 2: Gender Identity and Gender Justice
Consider the issue of anti-gay bullying in public schools. Identify two cases of anti-gay bullying that has been covered in the media in the past twelve months. Using key terms and ideas that have been featured in the articles written by Judith Butler, Cathy Cohen, and David Valentine, (1) write a detailed overview of each case, (2) discuss and assess the community response, and (3) analyze how the issue of anti-gay bullying was covered by local and national media. Be sure to carefully define key terms like marginalization/marginality, gender, gender justice, transgender, etc using key quotes from the assigned readings.

Option 3: Prison Industrial Complex
Using the work of Michelle Alexander, write an essay describing the prison industrial complex. How has the prison industrial complex compromised the constitutional rights of poor minorities, especially African Americans in urban communities? How has the use of discretion by law enforcement officials and prosecutors produced racial inequality in charges, arrests, and sentencing? What about judicial (non)discretion in sentencing? Finally, propose an alternative way that the criminal justice system can go about addressing the problem of drug abuse, addiction, and trafficking in communities of color that prevents unconscious racial bias by law enforcement officials.

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