Receive up to 5 extra credit points added to your overall test grade for the course by completing the assignment below. Your response must meet the guidelines below in order to receive points.
1) Go to the website: https://playspent.org/ and complete the simulation. On the start page, make sure to scroll down and click the ‘continue to SPENT’ link, then click “PROVE IT” to begin the activity. This website simulates a one-month time period, and gives situations and choices for a recently unemployed single parent and some of the real life scenarios to illustrate the difficult choices some people face in order “to make ends meet”. NOTE: This activity is flash-based, and may not work on all browsers or operating systems. If you are not able to access the activity, use a different computer. The computers in the library or computer labs at NKU will be able to access this site.
2. Write down/Keep track of your choices and options as you go along… (Hint: it will sometimes give you an option to “ask a friend” using Facebook, if you choose that and it takes you there just exit Facebook and go back to the Spent program to return to the simulation. You don’t really have to ask your Facebook friends for help 🙂 However, think about how you might have to rely on help from others to make it through the month.
3. Write a 1-2 paragraph response that summarizes the activity. Did you make it through the month? If not what day did you get to? Would you have enough money to pay your rent tomorrow? What were some of the challenges you faced and decisions you had to make? Did you have to rely on help from others? Did you have to do any ‘unethical’ or illegal things in order to make ends meet? How easy would it be to climb the class ladder in this situation? Feel free to try the simulation several times, what worked best? What made you go broke the fastest? NOTE: Do not include your notes as your response, this is about your reaction to the simulation.
4. Write a brief (1 paragraph) response to the overall activity using your sociological imagination. In other words, think about how individual opportunities and circumstances are shaped and restrained by the larger social setting. What social arrangements within US society seem to work against people at the bottom rung of the social class ladder that can help prevent people from moving up? You can include references to the ‘facts’ that pop up after many choices (like whether or not to sign up for health care, or about access to public transportation) during the simulation.
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