Question Description

Project 1: Framing a Sociological Topic as an Everyday Sociologist

photographic image of urban street scene at the turn of the 20th century.
Social Life

This assignment, Project 1, addresses course outcomes 1, 3, and 4. This assignment will require you to think about key sociological concepts, such as race, gender, social class and social change. You will need to think about social institutions such as the economy and education using the sociological perspective. Finally, you will begin to understand how sociological knowledge influences the way you interpret the world. As your text book points out, everyone collects data in their daily lives and uses it to inform their understanding of the way their society works. Sociologists collect data to determine how society as a whole actually works. In this assignment you will be an everyday sociologist and discuss the data that you have collected thus far and the conclusions that you have drawn on a sociological topic. You will pick a sociological topic from the list below. For the topic you have selected, you will explore how sociological terms and concepts can help you analyze the subject and its significance to the broader society.

In this assignment you will describe what you already know about the topic, and how it is situated within society (e.g., among individuals, in institutions etc.). Then, you will use examples from your personal experience or from the media to illustrate what you know about the topic and how you have come to know it. You will revisit this topic at the end of the term for your final project and discuss how your knowledge on the subject has changed. For example, if you chose to write on the topic of religion (which is not on the list) you might discuss religion from the perspective of your own religious training within your community. Alternatively, you might discuss it from the perspective of religious conflict that is often in the news. Based on this personal knowledge on religion, you would explain how religion works as a social institution. Finally, you would discuss how a sociological understanding of religion may or may not lead to better social outcomes.

Note: This paper requires you to discuss your perceptions of the topic. You do not need to apply a theory or scientific method to this topic at this point.

Before beginning this project, please be sure you have thoroughly read and reviewed all of the content in this first module. Pay special attention to the terms and concepts from your reading material that help you understand the way that sociologists look at and make sense of the world.

Next, you should choose one subject area from this list of topics:

  • Deviance
  • Inequality
  • Social Mobility
  • Poverty
  • Gender Dynamics
  • Access to Education
  • Racism
  • Sexism

Then, please write a 1000 word essay (at least 2 to 3 pages of double-spaced, 12-point font of text) addressing the following question prompts. A references list should make up an additional page.

  1. With your selected topic, use examples from your personal experience with the topic, or from the media, to illustrate what you know about the topic. How have you come to know about this topic?
  2. Explain how and why this situation exists. Which sociological terms or concepts speak to your understanding of this topic?
  3. In your opinion, could sociological knowledge improve your understanding of the topic?
  4. Could sociological knowledge create opportunities to improve this topic for society at large?

Your essay will be evaluated in terms of how thoroughly you: answer the questions above; use resources to document your main points; and properly cite referenced work. Your essay should address all of the questions above and should consist of 1000 words (at least 2 to 3 pages of double-spaced, 12-point font of text). Citations and a references list will likely make up an additional page.

To successfully complete Project 1, you will need to organize your responses to the questions and then craft a formatted essay that includes each of the following:

  1. A title page;
  2. Well-developed introductory paragraph explaining the purpose of the essay and briefly referencing some of the main points/contentions offered in the essay;
  3. The body of the essay should consist of your effort to best answer the primary questions from the assignment prompt and should consist of 1000 words (at least 2 to 3 pages of double-spaced, 12-point font of text). Though the method by which this is done is largely up to you, it is essential that the responses to the questions in the prompt be based upon scholarly readings and should remain at all times defensible (in an academic sense). You have a great deal of information to draw from in creating your essay, including the assigned readings and hyperlinked sources in the module notes. As is the case with every assignment in SOC101, presenting any unsubstantiated, illogical, or indefensible position will have an adverse effect on the final grade. Please direct any questions regarding these expectations to the instructor;
  4. A concise concluding paragraph that briefly restates both the purpose of the essay as well as some of the primary argument offered by you, the essay’s author. Be sure the concluding paragraph does not introduce new information;
  5. A list of all sources consulted the preparation of the essay. The essay should be formatted according to APA-style documentation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. This includes the format of the list of references.