Is a person’s destiny mapped by their DNA or environment? This is the question you will explore as you argue the foundation of a person’s fate. Specifically, determine the factors that contribute to a person’s destiny in life. The argument will address whether or not fate exists as determined by genes or environment.The prompt: Using the story of Oedipus the King as a basis for discussion, decide whether or not a person’s DNA or environment affect their destiny in life.Requirements:MLA format Approximately 3 pagesArgument Essay with counterargument and rebuttalMust use the article, “Your Ancestors, Your Fate” to prove your argumentMust use one more source from the CHS Database to further prove your argumentMust reference Oedipus the KingA Works Cited must be attachedSpeaking of citations, when citing quotes from Oedipus the King, simply put the line numbers in parentheses. Ex: Jocasta pleads, “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning! / Is your life nothing to you?” (1003-4).A backslash / shows where one line ends and another begins
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Your Ancestors, Your
Fate
By Gregory Clark February 21, 2014 6:19 am
The Great Divide is a series about
inequality.
Inequality of income and wealth has risen in America since the 1970s,
yet a large-scale research study recently found that social mobility hadn’t
changed much during that time. How can that be?
The study, by researchers at Harvard and Berkeley, tells only part of the
story. It may be true that mobility hasn’t slowed — but, more to the point,
mobility has always been slow.
When you look across centuries, and at social status broadly measured
— not just income and wealth, but also occupation, education and longevity
— social mobility is much slower than many of us believe, or want to believe.
This is true in Sweden, a social welfare state; England, where industrial
capitalism was born; the United States, one of the most heterogeneous
societies in history; and India, a fairly new democracy hobbled by the legacy
of caste. Capitalism has not led to pervasive, rapid mobility. Nor have
democratization, mass public education, the decline of nepotism,
redistributive taxation, the emancipation of women, or even, as in China,
socialist revolution.
To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just
from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’.
The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be
predicted based on your parents’ earnings. In contrast, my colleagues and I
estimate that 50 to 60 percent of variation in overall status is determined by
your lineage. The fortunes of high-status
families inexorably fall, and those of low-status families rise, toward the
average — what social scientists call “regression to the mean” — but the
process can take 10 to 15 generations (300 to 450 years), much longer than
most social scientists have estimated in the past.
We came to these conclusions after examining reams of data on
surnames, a surprisingly strong indicator of social status, in eight
countries — Chile, China, England, India, Japan, South Korea, Sweden
and the United States — going back centuries. Across all of them, rare or
distinctive surnames associated with elite families many generations ago
are still disproportionately represented among today’s elites.
Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes?
No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual
effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent
to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t
know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know
that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are
in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks —
don’t hold up to scrutiny.
Because our findings run against the intuition that modernity, and in
particular capitalism, has eroded the impact of ancestry on a person’s life
chances, I need to explain how we arrived at them.
Let’s start with Sweden, which — like Denmark, Finland, Iceland and
Norway — is one of the world’s most equal societies in terms of income. To
our surprise, we found that social mobility in Sweden today was no greater
than in Britain or the United States today — or even Sweden in the 18th
century.
Sweden still has a nobility. Those nobles no longer hold de facto political
power, but their family records are stored by the Riddarhuset (House of
Nobility), a society created in 1626. We estimate that about 56,000 Swedes
hold rare surnames associated with the three historic tiers of nobles.
(Variations on the names of the unfortunate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of
“Hamlet” are on the list.)
Another elite group are Swedes whose ancestors — a rising educated
class of clerics, scholars, merchants — Latinized their surnames in the 17th
and 18th centuries (like the father of the botanist Carolus Linnaeus).
Adopting elite names was limited by law in Sweden in 1901, so a vast
majority of people holding them are descended from prominent families.
Given the egalitarian nature of Swedish society, one would expect that
people with these elite surnames should be no better off than other Swedes.
That isn’t so. In a sample of six Stockholm-area municipalities in 2008, rich
and poor, we found that the average taxable income of people with noble
names was 44 percent higher than that of people with the common surname
Andersson. Those with Latinized names had average taxable incomes 27
percent higher than those named Andersson.
Surnames of titled nobles (counts and barons) are represented in the
register of the Swedish Bar Association at six times the rate they occur in the
general population (three times the rate, for untitled-noble and Latinized
surnames). The same goes for Swedish doctors. Among those who
completed master’s theses at Uppsala University from 2000 to 2012, Swedes
with elite surnames were overrepresented by 60 to 80 percent compared
with those with the common surname prefixes Lund- and Berg-.
Over centuries, there is movement toward the mean, but it is slow. In
three of the Royal Academies of Sweden, half of the members from 1740 to
1769 held one of the elite surnames in our sample; by 2010, only 4 percent
did — but these surnames were held by just 0.7 percent of all Swedes, so
they were still strongly overrepresented. In short, nearly 100 years of social
democratic policies in Sweden, while creating a very egalitarian society,
have failed to accelerate social mobility.
What if we go back even further in time — to medieval
England?
We estimate that one-tenth of all surnames in contemporary England
can be traced to the occupation of a medieval ancestor — names like Smith
(the most common surname in the United States, England and Australia),
Baker, Butler, Carter, Chamberlain, Cook, Shepherd, Stewart and Wright.
Tax records suggest that most surnames became heritable by 1300.
We compared the frequency of these common surnames in the
population as a whole against elite groups, as drawn from several sources,
including membership rolls at Oxford and Cambridge, dating as far back as
1170, and probate records from 1384 onward.
We found that late medieval England was no less mobile than modern
England — contrary to the common assumption of a static feudal order. It
took just seven generations for the successful descendants of illiterate
village artisans of 1300 to be incorporated fully into the educated elite of
1500 — that is, the frequency of their names in the Oxbridge rolls reached
the level around where it is today. By 1620, according to probate records,
people with names like Butcher and Baker had nearly as much wealth as
people with high-status surnames like Rochester and Radcliffe.
Take Chaucer. A commoner by birth — his name probably comes
from the French word for shoemaker — he became a courtier, a diplomat
and a member of Parliament, and his great-great-grandson was even
briefly considered heir to the throne during the reign of Richard III.
Of course, mobility, in medieval times as now, worked both ways.
Just as Chaucer’s progeny prospered, other previously well-off families
declined. The medieval noble surname Cholmondeley was, by the 19th
century, held by a good number of farm laborers.
In any generation, happy accidents (including extraordinary talent) will
produce new high-status families. It is impossible to predict which particular
families are likely to experience such boosts. What is predictable is what the
path to elite status will look like, and the path back to the mean. Both happen
at a very slow pace.For all the creative destruction unleashed by capitalism, the industrial revolution
did not accelerate mobility. Looking at 181 rare surnames held by the
wealthiest 15 percent of English and Welsh people in the mid-19th century —
to be clear, these were not the same elite surnames as in the medieval era —
we found that people with these surnames who died between 1999 and 2012
were more than three times as wealthy as the average person.
If your surname is rare, and someone with that surname attended
Oxford or Cambridge around 1800, your odds of being enrolled at those
universities are nearly four times greater than the average person. This
slowness of mobility has persisted despite a vast expansion in public
financing for secondary and university education, and the adoption of much
more open and meritocratic admissions at both schools.
What about America, the self-proclaimed land of
opportunity?
We selected a sampling of high- and low-status American surnames. The
elite ones were held by descendants of Ivy League alumni who graduated by
1850, exceptionally wealthy people with rare surnames in 1923-24 (when
public inspection of income-tax payments was legal) and Ashkenazi Jews.
The low-status names were associated with black Americans whose
ancestors most likely arrived as slaves, and the descendants of French
colonists in North America before 1763.
We chose only surnames closely correlated with these subgroups — for
example, Rabinowitz for American Jews, and Washington for black
Americans.
We used two indicators of social status: the American Medical
Association’s directory of physicians and registries of licensed attorneys,
along with their dates of registration, in 25 states, covering 74 percent of the
population.
In the early to mid-20th century we found the expected regression
toward the mean for all of these groups, except for Jews and blacks —
which reflects the reality of quotas that had barred Jews from many elite
schools, and of racial segregation, which was not fully outlawed until the
1960s.
Starting in the 1970s, Jews began, over all, a decline in social status,
while blacks began a corresponding rise, at least as measured by the doctors’
directory. But both trends are very slow. At the current rate, for example, it will
be 300 years before Ashkenazi Jews cease to be overrepresented among
American doctors, and even 200 years from now the descendants of
enslaved African-Americans will still be underrepresented.
Family names tell you, for better or worse, a lot: The average life span of an
American with the typically Jewish surname Katz is 80.2 years, compared
with 64.6
years for those with the surname Begay (or Begaye), which is strongly
associated with Native Americans. Heberts, whites of New France descent,
live on average three years less than Dohertys, whites of Irish descent.
But to be clear, we found no evidence that certain racial groups innately
did better than others. Very high-status groups in America include Ashkenazi
Jews, Egyptian Copts, Iranian Muslims, Indian Hindus and Christians, and
West Africans. The descendants of French Canadian settlers don’t suffer
racial discrimination, but their upward mobility, like that of blacks, has been
slow.
Chen (a common Chinese surname) is of higher status than Churchill.
Appiah (a Ghanaian surname) is higher than Olson (or Olsen), a common
white surname of average status. Very little information about status can be
surmised by the most common American surnames — the top five are Smith,
Johnson, Williams, Brown and Jones, which all originated in England —
because they are held by a mix of whites and blacks.
Our findings were replicated in Chile, India, Japan, South Korea and,
surprisingly, China, which stands out as a demonstration of the resilience of
status — even after a Communist revolution nearly unparalleled in its
ferocity, class hatred and mass displacement.
Hundreds of thousands of relatively prosperous mainland Chinese fled
to Taiwan with the Nationalists in the late 1940s. Under Communist
agrarian reform, as much as 43 percent of all land was seized and
redistributed. The Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 saw purges of scholars
and other former elites and “class enemies.”
In China, there are only about 4,000 surnames; the 100 most common
are held by nearly 85 percent of the population. Yet we were able to identify
13 rare surnames that were exceptionally overrepresented among successful
candidates in imperial examinations in the 19th century. Remarkably, holders
of these 13 surnames are disproportionately found now among professors
and students at elite universities, government officials, and heads of
corporate boards. Social mobility in the Communist era has accelerated, but
by very little. Mao failed.
These findings may surprise two groups that are often politically
opposed: those who believe that certain “cultures” are higher-achieving than
others and those who attribute success to family resources and social
networks.
Culture is a nebulous category and it can’t explain the constant
regression of family status — from the top and the bottom. High-status
social groups in America are astonishingly diverse. There are
representatives from nearly every major religious and ethnic group in the
world — except for the group that led to the argument for culture as the
foundation of social success: white European Protestants. Muslims are lowstatus in much of India and Europe, but Iranian Muslims are among the
most elite of all groups in America.
Family resources and social networks are not irrelevant. Evidence has
been found that programs from early childhood education to socioeconomic
and racial classroom integration can yield lasting benefits for poor children.
But the potential of such programs to alter the overall rate of social mobility
in any major way is low. The societies that invest the most in helping
disadvantaged children, like the Nordic countries, have produced absolute,
commendable benefits for these children, but they have not changed their
relative social position.
The notion of genetic transmission of “social competence” — some
mysterious mix of drive and ability — may unsettle us. But studies of
adoption, in some ways the most dramatic of social interventions, support this
view. A number of studies of adopted children in the United States and Nordic
countries show convincingly that their life chances are more strongly
predicted from their biological parents than their adoptive families. In
America, for example, the I.Q. of adopted children correlates with their
adoptive parents’ when they are young, but the correlation is close to zero by
adulthood. There is a low correlation between the incomes and educational
attainment of adopted children and those of their adoptive parents.
These studies, along with studies of correlations across various types of
siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is
the main carrier of social status.
If we are right that nature predominates over nurture, and explains the
low rate of social mobility, is that inherently a tragedy? It depends on your
point of view.
The idea that low-status ancestors might keep someone down many
generations later runs against most people’s notions of fairness. But at the
same time, the large investments made by the super-elite in their kids — like
those of the Manhattan hedge-funders who spend a fortune on preschool —
are of no avail in preventing long-run downward mobility.
Our findings do suggest that intermarriage among people of different
strata will raise mobility over time. India, we found, has exceptionally low
mobility in part because religion and caste have barred intermarriage. As
long as mating is assortative — partners are of similar social status,
regardless of ethnic, national or religious background — social mobility will
remain low.
As the political theorist John Rawls suggested in his landmark work “A
Theory of Justice” (1971), innate differences in talent and drive mean that, to
create a fair society, the disadvantages of low social status should be
limited. We are not suggesting that the fact of slow mobility means that
policies to lift up the lives of the disadvantaged are for naught — quite the
opposite. Sweden is, for the less well off, a better place to live than the
United States, and that is a good thing. And opportunities for people to
flourish to the best of their abilities are essential.
Large-scale, rapid social mobility is impossible to legislate. What
governments can do is ameliorate the effects of life’s inherent unfairness.
Where we will fall within the social spectrum is largely fated at birth. Given
that fact, we have to decide how much reward, or punishment, should be
attached to what is ultimately fickle and arbitrary, the lottery of your lineage.
Gregory Clark is a professor of economics at the University of
California, Davis, and the author of “The Son Also Rises: Surnames and
the History of Social Mobility.”
A version of this article appears in print on 02/23/2014, on page SR1 of the
NewYork edition with the headline: Your Ancestors, Your Fate.
© 2017 The New York Times
Company
Oedipus the King Argumentative Essay
Is a person’s destiny mapped by their DNA or environment? This is the
question you will explore as you argue the foundation of a person’s fate.
Specifically, determine the factors that contribute to a person’s destiny in
life. The argument will address whether or not fate exists as determined by
genes or environment.
The prompt: Using the story of Oedipus the King as a basis for discussion,
decide whether or not a person’s DNA or environment affect their destiny in
life.
Requirements:
• MLA format
• Approximately 3 pages
• Argument Essay with counterargument and rebuttal
• Must use the article, “Your Ancestors, Your Fate” to prove your
argument
• Must use one more source from the CHS Database to further prove
your argument
• Must reference Oedipus the King
• A Works Cited must be attached
Speaking of citations, when citing quotes from Oedipus the King, simply put
the line numbers in parentheses.
• Ex: Jocasta pleads, “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning!
/ Is your life nothing to you?” (1003-4).
• A backslash / shows where one line ends and another begins.
Notes on Databases

https://go.gale.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType
=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=
BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=2&docId=GALE%7CA2928
24500&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZG
PPMOD1&prodId=ITOF&contentSet=GALE%7CA292824500&sea
rchId=R2&userGroupName=calabasas_main&inPS=true

https://go.gale.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=
RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=B
asicSearchForm&currentPosition=6&docId=GALE%7CA32059
2115&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZG
PPMOD1&prodId=ITOF&contentSet=GALE%7CA320592115&sea
rchId=R2&userGroupName=calabasas_main&inPS=true

If you cant open these articles directly from here please copy
them and paste onto google doc and open from there.

Password for library card is 7050622
Oedipus the King Argumentative Essay
Is a person’s destiny mapped by their DNA or environment? This is the
question you will explore as you argue the foundation of a person’s fate.
Specifically, determine the factors that contribute to a person’s destiny in
life. The argument will address whether or not fate exists as determined by
genes or environment.
The prompt: Using the story of Oedipus the King as a basis for discussion,
decide whether or not a person’s DNA or environment affect their destiny in
life.
Requirements:
• MLA format
• Approximately 3 pages
• Argument Essay with counterargument and rebuttal
• Must use the article, “Your Ancestors, Your Fate” to prove your
argument
• Must use one more source from the CHS Database to further prove
your argument
• Must reference Oedipus the King
• A Works Cited must be attached
Speaking of citations, when citing quotes from Oedipus the King, simply put
the line numbers in parentheses.
• Ex: Jocasta pleads, “For God’s love, let us ha …
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