The root of social class and inequality is access to resources—with money being a socially constructed way of managing access to goods and services.

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The root of social class and inequality is access to resources—with money being a socially constructed way of managing access to goods and services. We’ll conclude our semester by reflecting on some strategies we can use to approach access to resources going forward. Start reading this week with chapter 20 of Naam’s book, up to page 286. Here, Naam discusses innovation, reflecting on the exponential growth of technologies. Follow this reading Week 6: How can we meet our resource needs going forward?
Assignment: Discussion Assignment 4 Due 06/23 and 06/25
Readings:
• Naam, Ramez. 2013. The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet. Hanover: University Press of New England. Read chapter 20 up to page 286.
• Schelly, Chelsea, et al. 2015. “Open-Source 3-D Printing Technologies for Education: Bringing Additive Manufacturing to the Classroom.” Journal of Visual Languages & Computing 28:226-237.
• Gotzsche, Peter C. 2017. “Patients Not Patents: Drug Research and Development as a Public Enterprise.” European Journal of Clinical Investigation 48:1-6.
• Smith, Trevor J. 2019. “Corn, Cows, and Climate Change: How Federal Agricultural Subsidies Enable Factory Farming and Exacerbate U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 9(1):1-30.
• Kennelly, James J., and Mehmet Odekon. 2016. “Worker Cooperatives in the United States, Redux.” The Journal of Labor and Society 19:163-185.
with Schelly et al.’s article, which explains how open source technologies can improve the quality and availability of resources, using the example of a 3D printer used in a classroom. “Open source” refers to technologies that are free to build, modify, and share. Open source technologies are contrasted with those that fall under “intellectual property” laws, which are provisions from governments to restrict who can build or share content. Copyrights and patents are the most well known types of “intellectual property” laws.
The next two readings pertain to specific resources whose process of development is currently controversial. Smith covers the ways in which current agricultural subsidies negatively affect American farming, and Gotzsche covers the ways that patents reduce the availability and quality of prescription drugs. Finally, Kennelly and Odekon’s article explains what worker cooperatives are and provides justification for how these could improve the economy going forward.
For your final assignment, you’ll choose one of the methods we’ve used so far this semester (CLA; stakeholder analysis; news/talk show dialogue; scenario; or backcasting) to analyze these articles. You’ll follow the same directions for that method as in the prior assignment. Your analysis should total 800 words and should paraphrase and cite from all the required readings from this unit.

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