An Old Tool Reexamined: Using the Star Power Simulation to Teach Social Inequality

Barbara F. Prince, Bowling Green State University
Michele Lee Kozimor-King, Elizabethtown College
Jennifer Steele, West Virginia University


This study examined the effectiveness of the Star Power simulation for teaching stratification and inequality to students of the net generation. The data for this study were obtained through the use of survey methodology and content analysis of 126 course papers from introductory sociology classes. Papers were analyzed for identification and application of class concepts, recommendation of the simulation, and perceived value of the simulation as a learning tool. Analysis of data revealed 100 percent of students found Star Power worthwhile, and 98 percent recommended it be used in future classes. The most common concepts students linked with their simulation experience were inequality, stratification, and social structure. Finally, six themes were identified illustrating students’ perceived value of the simulation.