You are on page 1of 4

Sociological Perspective Paper 1

Sociological Perspective Paper Video: Northern Exposure Luvenia Manning, Vivian Smith and Raina Rain SOC/100 Introduction of Sociology Instructor: Dr. Stacey Tucker Monday, November 7, 2011

Sociological Perspective Paper 2

Northern Exposure discusses how American college students are choosing to attend colleges in Canada instead of the United States because the cost is much less. Since 2001, there has been a 50% increase in enrollment of Canadian colleges impacting the enrollment of students in the United States. Canada is able to provide a cheaper education because their government provides a portion their colleges funding. The decrease of enrollment at colleges in the United States could very well be part of the reason for the increase in tuition throughout the U.S. The conflict theory is associated with both Karl Marx and Max Weber. This perspective, similar to functionalism, approaches society on a macro-sociological level. The conflict theory has a pessimistic view of society. The conflict perspective consists of three Key concepts: inequality, capitalism and stratification (Schaefer, 2009). Karl Marx contends that the dominant society creates institutional laws and enforces systems that support its power and control of resources (Schaefer, 2009). Unlike Marx, Max Weber contends that there are many status groups who have various degrees of social power. In contrast, Marx believed there were only two: capitalist and the working group. Weber further contends that power plays a role in ethnicity, religion, politics, and gender (Zarka, 2007). The conflict perspective views society as struggles and tension between the groups. With regards to Canada and the United States and the difference in the cost of college, it would seem the United States colleges are more so capitalist because they would prefer to increase the cost of education than to become more competitive with the colleges in Canada. Stratification would also play a role because the increasing cost of college in the United States minimizes the amount of people who can attend school

Sociological Perspective Paper 3 separating society into groupsthe haves and the have not. It is a known fact that people who have a college education make a great deal more than the people who do not. The imbalance or inequality allows companies to pay less for positions that do not require a degree. Now that another option has been discovered, conflicts such as salary increases in the United States could arise in the near future. The conflict in the cost of school between the two countries is very obvious. An American student of a Canadian college was interviewed and she stated that the she chose to attend a McGill University because the cost was twenty thousand dollars a year versus attending Georgetown University where she would have to pay forty five to fifty thousand dollars a year. During a college night hosted at a high school, a parent stated that Canadian colleges were twenty to thirty thousands dollars cheaper than the colleges in the United States which would explain Americans making up 12% of the population in Canadian schools. According to the video, there are nine thousand Americans attending colleges in Canada. Americans are also allowed to use their 529 college savings accounts, U.S. loans, and apply for scholarships. These bonuses make it even more worthwhile to pursue a higher education in Canada. If the U.S. cannot find it to become more competitive with Canada when it comes to the cost of college, many more conflicts will arise in the future.

Sociological Perspective Paper 4 Reference: Schaefer, R.T. (2011). Sociology: A brief introduction (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.