American Sociological Association

Teaching Inequalities: Using Public Transportation and Visual Sociology to Make It Real

In this article, we describe an adaptation of Nichols, Berry, and Kalogrides’s "Hop on the Bus" exercise. In addition to riding the bus, we incorporated a visual component similar to that developed by Whitley by having students conduct a sociological, photographic exercise after they disembarked. Qualitative and quantitative assessment data show that taken together, these exercises enhance students’ awareness and sociological understanding of social inequalities, especially income inequalities. Specifically, the activities make abstract concepts real to students, make more obvious inequalities that often go unnoticed, help students better understand how structural barriers affect individuals’ daily lives and contribute to broader social inequalities, and to some degree, dispel stereotypes of marginalized groups.

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Liz Grauerholz and Marc Settembrino





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