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ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS FOR SOCIAL INEQUALITY
 
 

| Power Game I | Power Game II | Life Support Exercise |

 

Power Game I:

This game shows effects of racism, and classism on an institutional level. The purpose of this game is to demonstrate how the power group (usually consisting of white, male, Protestant individuals) has control over the rest of society, and all of their decision making processes. After choosing the people in power, the game requires the rest of the class to split up into groups of oppressed people (African-American, Native American, Homeless, Person with Disability, gays and lesbians, etc.). Each group should not have more than 3 or 4 people in the group.

Each group is given cards stating the opportunity that they would like to be granted, and the object is for the oppressed groups to make sound arguments as to why they should receive the stated opportunity. The oppressed groups will be given a certain amount of time to make their arguments--usually about five minutes works well. After they make their argument, the power group needs to make a decision. This decision is final. Encourage the power group to be as oppressing as they see fit to create the realistic scenario. The next oppressed group is then given the chance to debate their important issue.

 

Here are some suggestions for issues to use:

African Americans: Equal education opportunities

Homeless: Vocational Programs

Gays and Lesbians: Health care for partners

Women: Equal pay for equal work

 

People in the oppressed group are allowed to give up their time to another oppressed group if they feel as though the other group's issue is more important. In most cases this does not happen because oppressed groups feel that all of their issues are important. This is what keeps oppressed groups from coming together.

The Power Group: It is important that the members of the power group understand that they rule this country' and that they have the power to do anything that they want to. They have to remember that they have to look out for the best interest of the elite. They have as much time as they want to speak and can reject an issue for whatever reason they choose. They don't even have to give a reason.

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Power Game II

Separate the class into two equal sections. Give each group one portion of the chalk/wipe board. Everyone should have the opportunity to draw if they want to. Select a spokesperson for the group.

Each group is going to design a town. They each have a certain amount of money that they can spend on the creation of their town. They must purchase anything (trees, roads, buildings, etc) that they draw on the boardl!! Tell the spokesperson for the two groups how much money they have to spend. Group A has $1,000,000and Group B has $10,000.

Below is a breakdown of how much things will cost for each of the groups, if the item is not listed, you can determine the price, but make sure it stays in line with the prices for each group.

Trees Houses School Roads

Group A: $20/each

Group B: $150/each

Group A: $500/each

Group B: $900/each

Group A: $1000/each

Group B: $3000/each

Group A: $600/each

Group B: $900/each

You should be keeping track of how much money each group has spent. Let the groups get creative!!

After about 20 minutes, if the students haven't figured it out, have all the students sit down and compare and reflect on the differences of the pictures. Power is established.

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Life Support Exercise

Students are asked to be members of a hospital administration board. They should split up into a couple of different groups, this way more discussion and interaction will occur.

The situation is as follows: As members of the hospital board, the students must decide which five out of the nine people will, through the use of a kidney dialysis machine, be able to live. The hospital can only obtain five machines -- there are none available anywhere else -- so four people must die. Case histories or summaries of each individual should be developed. Variables such as sex, race, socioeconomic status, age; sexual preference and class should be used in the case studies in order to make deciding difficult. There will be dissention as to which the kidney machines should go to, so watch out for conflicts, stereotypical remarks, and biases. Students must defend their choices at the end of the exercise and discussion can be developed from their various reasons.

At the end of the discussion, you may want to make a chart of all group and their decisions. This way, you can see where, the groups were similar, and where they were different. This will help in the facilitation of discussion at the end.

Here are the case histories ... You rnay want to make copies for your group to have during their discussion.

 

Case Histories for Life Support Exercise

Emma Kinsey: A black, single, 35 year old woman on welfare. She has five children to support (their ages ranging from one to seven) and she doesn't have the money to pay the hospital for treatment.

Morris Plotmar: An 82 year old man, who, until coming to this hospital for minor surgery was extremely healthy. Due to negligence on the part of the hospital, he is now very ill.

Reggie Regan: President Regan's grandson bom four months prematurely with various other major life threatening health problems. The President will contribute a large sum of money to the hospital if his grandson is chosen.

Louise Finch: A 28 year old business executive with no family and lots of money. She lives alone and doesn't like to socialize.

Billy Dunbar: A 14 year old juvenile delinquent who has been jailed for robbery and assault and yet has been out of trouble for six months. He is an orphan and belongs to a street gang.

Andrea Lawrence: A known supporter for gay rights and the rights of homosexuals to adopt children. She is 48 years old, divorce with two children who are in their 20's.

Peter Clevarez: A 30 year old hispanic man in the lower middle class with a family of five to support. Since his illness, due to low funds, his family has been living with his elderly mother in another state.

Trisha Barnes: An 8 year old girl with mental retardation who has a highly supportive family. She lives at home and is taken care of by her mother. There are no other children in the family and Trisha has already had life threatening heart operations. There is no guarantee that her heart can withstand another operation.

Andrew James Grayton III: A 58 year old white male who owns his own company, plays a lot of tennis and is known for shady business deals. A lot of people depend on him for jobs, since his company employs practically an entire town. His name has been linked to the mob

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Last updated 03/31/2004. Copyright 2000 by Elaine Leeder and US2 Design. All rights reserved.