Posted by Walyn Napper

Step 2: Three Papers

Stress and Crisis in Families 


Parents can do many activities with their children to help them grow and learn. One such activity is reading together. Reading together can help develop a child’s literacy skills, as well as the bond between the parents and children. Here are some tips for reading together: 

– Choose a book that is appropriate for a child aged 3-5. 

– Sit together in a comfortable spot where the children and parents can see the book. – Read slowly and clearly, pointing to the words as you read them. 

– Encourage your child to ask questions and make predictions about what will happen next in the story. 

-Engage parents by allowing them to take turns reading aloud, or by reading along with the child. – Discuss the characters and events in the book after finishing it. 

Necessary supplies 

-The books are the main supply necessary for this activity and can be found at local libraries or bookstores. A budget for what this activity would cost to provide to 100 children 

-If parents do not have access to a library, they could purchase books secondhand or look for sales at local bookstores. 

-Snacks for both parents and teachers for motivation after the activity. 

-Sits for the children to sit on while reading. This could be a chair, a bean bag, or a pillow. 

-Quiet space in the room for the activity. The environment would be conducive to reading, with good lighting and not too much noise. 

How Activity Contributes to Development and Parental Engagement 

Implementing family engagement activities in schools is an effective strategy for improving student achievement and reducing achievement gaps. One such activity is reading with parents in school. Research has shown that parental involvement in children’s education is positively associated with children’s early literacy skills, school grades, and test scores (“Pre-K Social & Emotional”, 2022).). Furthermore, parental involvement has been shown to mediate the relationship between socioeconomic status and educational outcomes  (“Pre-schoolers (3-5 years of age)”, 2022)). Given the importance of parental involvement in child development and education, schools must find ways to engage parents in their children’s learning. 

One way to engage parents in their children’s education is through the activity of reading with parents in school. This activity is designed to improve preschool child development and parental engagement by providing parents with the opportunity to be actively involved in their child’s education. Furthermore, this activity provides a time for parents and children to bond and connect. Additionally, this activity gives parents the chance to see their child interact with other children and adults positively. Finally, this activity provides parents with information about their child’s development and what they can do at home to support their child’s learning.  

The activity of reading with parents in school contributes to preschool child development and parental engagement by providing parents with the opportunity to be actively involved in their child’s education. Furthermore, this activity provides a time for parents and children to bond and connect. Additionally, this activity gives parents the chance to see their child interact with other children and adults positively. Finally, this activity provides parents with information about their child’s development and what they can do at home to support their learning at home (“Pre-schoolers (3-5 years of age)”, 2022). Ultimately, this  activity is designed to achieve many objectives for preschoolers including increased parent  involvement in their education, improved literacy skills, stronger parent-child relationships,  increased self-esteem, and improved social skills


The Concept of “Hustling”, Crime and the Police, and Poverty in Sudhir Venkatesh’s “Gang Leader for a Day”

Walyn Napper

A lot of things happen in society and affect how people live in various ways.

However, it isn’t easy to understand what people go through if someone does not come close to them and tries to know what they do and why they do it. University of Chicago sociology graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh opens “Gang Leader for a Day” with a description of a crack house in a South Side housing. Sudhir claims he is not there to experiment with drugs but to watch others engage in these activities. Sudhir organizes his story as a collection of anecdotes about life among the urban poor, who are disproportionately African American, and recounts how and why he decided to focus his research on this demographic. Sudhir’s “Gang Leader for a Day” addresses themes like “hustling,” crime and the police, and poverty using evidence from real-life experiences of people.


First, one of the major themes in the book is the concept of “hustling. On page 56 of the book, one of the women talks about women sitting whom she describes as “hos” and says that “they all hustle” (Venkatesh, 2008). Hustling it’s a phrase with a wide range of applications and interpretations. Hustling, in its simplest form, refers to whatever a person does to make ends meet in the projects. Such activities may range from blatantly illegal ones, like prostitution or theft, to more ambiguous ones, like the resale of things of dubious provenance, to completely legal ones, like the cleaning or repair of old automobiles or gadgets (Venkatesh, 2009). The author’s view of hustling evolves as he interacts with more people.

Additionally, individuals like Ms. Bailey and Clarisse, who have varying degrees of institutional recognition and authority, tell Sudhir that they go ahead by hustling. For

example, Ms. Bailey, who has an “elected” position in the complex, utilizes her influence to enrich herself and provide for families not serviced by the police or the housing authority (Venkatesh, 2008). In addition to “supporting the community” and enriching himself, JT oversees the local chapter of the Black Kings, a criminal organization whose activities include, among other things, the sale of crack cocaine and numerous “protection” rackets (Venkatesh, 2008). They do these things to survive, and they use the concept of hustling to make those things sound as if they are not wrong.

Another major theme in the book is crime and the police. The author notices that in the region there are a lot of differences in what people expect the police to act towards crime and how they really act (Venkatesh, 2008). The police at the Robert Taylor Homes do not enforce the law since the law seems to do nothing to help individuals in need. In the more affluent neighborhoods of Chicago, the law may provide more protection to victims of theft or domestic violence than in the slums (Venkatesh, 2008). The Homes however, have a police force whose primary function is punishment. Those who get in their way are punished, and the helpless are exploited. Officer Reggie is an exception: he is a product of the projects and works tirelessly to ensure the safety of his fellow officers and residents (Venkatesh, 2008). However, the police force as a whole views the projects as a community reliant on them and hence as a community from whom concessions can be taken. This is a functional, rather than a legal, framework.

Therefore, the police in this setting are essentially on par with gang members or members of the Homes’ largely corrupt administration. Nobody or nothing can provide the community’s social services, protection, or safety since everyone is out for themselves (Venkatesh, 2008). This implies that law enforcement may look the other way if they fear for their safety or if they stand to benefit financially from the continuation of unlawful activity. Therefore, the concept of “crime” has to be rethought in light of these more realistic and less

idealistic moral standards. In the ghetto, criminal activity is not so much defined by whether or not it is “against the law” as it is by whether or not it causes bodily injury to another person. Murder, assault, and rape are at the top of the “crime”-scale, whereas crimes like prostitution and drug usage (although these may be contested) are considerably lower on the “crime”-scale. Leaders of gangs often use their judgment when meting out punishment. For example, JT will occasionally punish individuals who cross him with a beating but sometimes let them go if he thinks they would be helpful in the future (Venkatesh, 2008).

Additionally, poverty is a significant theme in the book, as most people live in poor environments. All of these issues are rooted in the material hardships that residents of the projects face. Everyone living at the Robert Taylor Homes is poor because they lack and constantly struggle to secure some of life’s fundamental requirements (Venkatesh, 2008). more need clothes, while more have medical, housing, heating, or power needs. As Sudhir learns more about the community’s dire circumstances, he wonders if he or anyone else can make a difference. He begins to investigate how the money that does move into the projects is collected, where it goes, who provides it and how tiny economies form as residents require specific goods or services (Venkatesh, 2008). Poverty is prevalent, and it appears as one of the main reasons many people in the area engage in crime (Aspholm, 2021). Everyone seems to be trying to survive through any means.

So, when it comes to the idea that a “culture of poverty” might imprison particular groups in gloomy circumstances, Sudhir pushes back against a popular theory among certain social scientists. In Sudhir’s opinion, this “culture of poverty” seems like a deliberate decision on the side of these made-up people (Venkatesh, 2008). But he sees a succession of ad hoc solutions to issues as they emerge. Residents of the Robert Taylor Homes sometimes have to “make do” with what they have since the police, medical professionals, and other institutions that serve white and/or affluent communities are not adequately present in impoverished

black neighborhoods (Venkatesh, 2009). From the outside looking in, this may be seen as a “choice” to continue to live in poverty, engage in criminal activity, or avoid legal employment.


In conclusion, gang involvement can be explained by the conflict theory. The conflict theory argues that society is in constant conflict because of limited resources. This is what is experienced in the book, where poverty is prevalent. Poverty plays a crucial role in initiating gang involvement. The gangs are striving to get the country’s limited resources. People engage in crime to get things they see that they will not get if they don’t. The book suggests that if there were enough resources for everyone, people would not engage in crime. The themes presented in the book are all related to the aspects of conflict theory in some way.

Intro Social Inequality Diff:

Walyn Napper

Identity Formation

The social characteristics that define my identity are based on my race, gender, sexuality, and class. First, I am an African American with dark skin and believe my ancestors’ origin is somewhere in Africa. On gender, I am male. This is defined by my dressing code which is masculine and also body parts and the expectations laid by the community. I am from a middle-class family earning average wages, which are enough to pay my bills but not to give me a luxurious life. On sexuality, I am straight. I like people of the opposite gender, that is, females. I found myself with these characteristics as I grew up, and I have embraced them and made them part of my life.

There are various aspects of racial formation which had a significant impact on my identity formation. One of these aspects is appearance. This ranges from skin color to body physique. I am dark-skinned, and this classifies me as an African American. Only Africans are expected to be black. The other aspect is language. Growing up in black neighborhoods, there is slang that, as individuals, we learn. This language originates from the slavery days when the Africans held as enslaved people developed a set of phrases which is a coining of some African words and English (Ray 29). That language significantly impacts my identity

formation since it is through communication that individuals get to express themselves. The other aspect is the environment. As a black American, I was raised in a tough environment which made me understand that being black means being tough and facing the world with resilience.

On the other hand, there are also aspects of class formation that significantly impacted the formation of my racial identity. One of those aspects is the types of occupations most black Americans venture into. I grew up in a neighborhood where most people were earning low incomes. This means that they were in a low social class. Therefore I grew up accepting that as a black kid; I did not have equal opportunities as a white kid who grew up in the affluent suburbs. Another aspect is the way the public interacts. I have witnessed many people being discriminated against in public places not only because they are black but also because they are from a low social class. Low social class is attributed to the blacks, significantly contributing to social identity development. The last aspect is that blacks are less advantaged and, therefore, have to work extra hard to achieve the levels of whites. This has motivated me to work extra hard and ensure that I maintain a medium social class.

Additionally, various aspects of ability construction also impacted my racial identity formation. One of these aspects is the perception of other races on the abilities of black people. I grew up facing various racist comments about my

ability. This motivated me to see myself as a black man with a higher ability to compete effectively with all the other people. The other aspect is the way I view myself. I am my motivation. I have learned my worth and understood that being a black person does not mean weakness. Instead, it means hidden strength, which can be exploited to do great things. The last aspect was the motivation of the fellow members of my race. I have seen various black men beat white men in success and prosperity. This has impacted my racial formation by making me understand that if there is a black man who achieved a certain level of success, I also can.

Lastly, various aspects of sexuality construction have also impacted my racial identity formation. One of these aspects is religion. Religion makes individuals believe that being homosexual is a punishable sin (Jackson 47). That is one of the reasons I grew up being straight because since I was born, I was taught in the church that being homosexual would lead me to hell. The other aspect is the view of the people on sexuality. Sexuality is viewed in our community as everyone having to be heterosexual (Young and Shipley 33). Therefore the sexuality of an individual is designed once they are born based on whether they are male or female. The last aspect of sexuality construction was my emotions. I am interested in the opposite sex and not a sex similar to mine. That is something in me and has significantly shaped my identity by making me become straight as I am today.

I believe these papers helped me to better understand my social identity by examining these concepts. Looking back on the work I have completed has made me actually able to define the concepts in my own life and connect them to the environment/surroundings. My knowledge about these concepts were unfamiliar before taking these courses but after taking them I am more in tuned. Throughout these classes I have been able to reflect and broaden my way of thinking now, these courses helped me make sense of my upbringing. Being able to use my family, race and education as well as my behaviors have been a part of my development to dive deeper into sociological thinking and increase my thoughts of the sociology world. Choosing different sociological themes such as inequality, stress, deviance, family, discrimination and being able to apply to sociological theories that pertain to those themes. I am now using theories such as conflict theory, control theory and social learning to help me identify life situations and apply these theories to different research methods to collect data. Also, to back up perspective and claims I may make in the future and these can be things such as interviews and observations. My writing has gone to a different level when discussing these concepts and being able to use these in my everyday life when interacting with others. Structuring my paper in the right way now, where I am able to convey my ideas clearly and my thoughts to where it is easy for the reader to understand.

Comments are closed.