Posted: October 27th, 2022

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Essay Prompts/Video Links: 

Living on a Dollar

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Prompt: Social Problem Analysis_Living on A Dollar

Video Link:

Social Problem Analysis: Living on one Dollar

Instructions: In 3 pages minimum (please do not exceed 5 pages), answer the following questions in an essay format using APA citation format. Your paper must include a title page, body (with in-text citations) and reference page.  You must include at least 3 outside resources (scholarly article, book, newspaper, etc.) and some specific examples/moments from the film to highlight your answers and support your arguments.  I DO NOT want you to summarize the film! The main purpose of this assignment is for you to apply sociological concepts/ideologies/theories in critically analyzing the film’s content using your sociological imagination and personal insight. Your paper will be graded on the following:

• Proper formatting and grammar/sentence structure (12 point font, Times New Roman, and 1 inch margins, double spacing should all be used).

• The proper application of sociological concepts, ideas and theory along with specific examples/moments from the film to highlight arguments.

• Answering all the questions in an insightful/analytical manner properly applying the sociological imagination.

• Please check the submission link on the course Canvas site for due date and submission instructions.


How do over 1 billion people across the world live on one dollar a day? Often times one dollar is stretched to provide shelter, food, medicine and clothing for a family of six or more. In comparison, the world’s 1,200+ billionaires make, on average, $273, 973 a day. That daily figure is more than 20 percent higher than what the world’s poorest citizens will ever make in their entire lifetimes. This great disparity in wealth is extremely alarming and worth much needed attention.

The documentary film Living on One Dollar follows the experiences of four friends as they live on less than one dollar a day for 56 days in rural Guatemala. They must battle many of the devastating elements that millions of people often have no escape from; the hunger, deplorable living conditions, illness and the realization that there are often no easy answers. This film is a sobering reminder of the incredible suffering that a vast majority of humanity must endure in this world of mass production and technological efficiency.



1. What are some of the biggest issues that people in Peña Blanca struggle with? How are these struggles similar or different to the issues that you see people in the United States or in your own community struggling with as well? What sociological theories can be used to analyze poverty in Peña Blanca?


2. What surprised you the most about the people living in extreme poverty in Guatemala? How did this change your perspective of those who live in extreme poverty? How did it change your perspective on your own consumption and daily life?


3. Do you think that raising awareness through media or social media translates into making a change in the world? Could it? What are some issues you see with this method?


4. What do you see as the biggest obstacle to ending extreme poverty in this generation? What are some solutions you can think of that could be implemented here? What kind of long-term impact would those changes have? Do you believe that you have a place in addressing this issue and where do you think you can make the most impact?

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