Imagine you are working for a community center that offers health, wellness, and relief services to all community
members. The clientele is diverse and everyday you see people from all walks of life. One morning, a young man, Jeff, comes to the center for assistance. Jeff’s shoes and clothes are ragged, his hair is unwashed, and he’s thin. He stops to speak to Mary, the new front desk assistant. You notice Mary’s facial expression and realize that she is put off by Jeff’s appearance. She rudely sends him off towards the social services office.
Later that morning you walk by the social services office. You see that Linda, the manager, has found Jeff a sandwich and some coffee. Linda is sitting beside him and helping him fill out paperwork. She touches him arm briefly before standing up to greet another client.
Reflect on what you know about social structure (which is made up of social institutions like the economy, family, and government). Explain how social structure plays a role in the lives of clients like Jeff.
Think about the interaction between Mary and Jeff. Explain how Mary’s treatment of Jeff may impact his experience at the community center.
Think about the interaction between Linda and Jeff. List one potential positive outcome from Linda’s treatment of Jeff.