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Process

Economist or Historical Ethnographer?

For this step, you will be assigned to be either an Economist or Historical Ethnographer:

The Economist - You're job is to research economic trends over the past 100+ years (1900-Present Day) and identify times of great prosperity and greater income equality and times of depression/recession and wider income gaps.  Once you have identified these time periods, it is your job to try to determine what was going on, historically, that contributed to the boon or the bust, so to speak.  Key things to research include:

1) Economic trends (charts, graphs, and especially employment data may be helpful.)  Here are two resources to get you started:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/60-years-of-american-economic-history-told-in-1-graph/261503/

http://thevictoryreport.org/100-year-chart-of-government-and-economy/

2) Historical events that coincided with economic growth or recessions.  These may include wars, the stock market crash, who was in office (President, Congress, etc..), key inventions or innovations, etc...  Here is a resource to get you started:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11173297/1/100-events-that-changed-business-1900-2000.html

The Historical Ethnographer - You're job is to research trends associated with certain groups of people in relation to financial stability and the income gap..  It is probably wise to narrow down to 2-3 specific groups to research instead of trying to spread yourself to thin.  You may want to start with the current groups that are most affected by economic hardship.  Groups may be identified by ethnicity, immigrant status, types of workers, education status, family size, gender, or any other unifying factor that would identify someone as part of a group.  Possible groups to research include:

1) African Americans or Hispanics

2) Women

3) Immigrants from________ (Mexico, Russia/Ukraine, Laos, etc....)

4) Unskilled workers

5) High School Graduates v. College Graduates

This article about the current Great Recession provides a great place to start:

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/06/30/how-the-great-recession-has-changed-life-in-america/

 

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