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Introduction to Sociology CAAP #1 Instructions

  1. Answer two critical thinking questions from below. Each question must be from a different module. Each response should be two pages, so four pages total. If it is a little longer, that is fine. Be sure to apply terms/concept(s) from the readings, and/or the slide presentations. The assignment is called Critical Analysis APPLICATION Paper; therefore, you should apply and connect terms/concepts from the course.
  2. Use at least two direct quotes with citations (ASA style) per response to support your points. In your discussion, you may relate the topics to your personal lives, current events, and/or slide presentations. Write one response, then the next, then include your reference page. It is all one paper, but the discussions are separate. No late work is accepted. You must upload the entire paper as ONE attachment file under ASSIGNMENTS in the online classroom. The attachment must be Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, PDF, or Word Pad (RTF) format. I cannot open Mac files (Pages), so you will have to convert it. Turnitin will check for plagiarism, so DO NOT COPY FROM THE INTERNET OR OTHER SOURCES!
  3. Papers must be typed. Use a standard 12 size font in either: Tahoma, Times New Roman, Courier New, Calibri, or Arial. The paper must be double spaced with one-inch margins.
  4. Put your heading (name and such) in the header of the paper – you do not need a cover page. Put page numbers at the footer of the paper. Before each response, write the Module section and number of the prompt you are answering.
  5. Be sure to reference the author you directly quoted, even if it is from the textbook or slides. You should have a page at the very end called “References”. You only need one reference page. Wikipedia and Dictionary.com are not academic sources – you do not need to use them. The only sources you need for this assignment are your class notes, slides, textbook, and class reader. Follow the American Sociological Association format for in-text citations and the reference page. You can do an Internet search for “ASA style guide”. You only need to use ASA style for quotes, citations, and the reference page.
  6. When writing formally, avoid using contractions (can’t, don’t, won’t). Use the full versions (can not, do not, will not). Do not use slang such as “cool”. Spell out smaller numbers (twenty instead of 20). Do not end sentences in prepositions (with, for, by, along, in, out).
  7. Make sure you break your work up into paragraphs. Do not submit one long paragraph for each response.
  8. Note: some of the prompts are more straightforward then others. Regardless of what prompts you select, you should apply and incorporate course material (what you are learning) in your answers. You can always tell more than what the prompt is asking for – again, the point of the assignment is to apply what you are learning.

Prompts

Module 1

  1. Briefly describe your favorite character from literature, television, or film. Using your sociological imagination, explain some of the problems that character had/has from a sociological perspective. Be sure that you clearly define and identify “the sociological perspective” and “the sociological imagination.” Be careful not to give a detailed summary of the character – stick to the sociology!
  2. Imagine you wanted to study child poverty from a micro, meso, and macro level. For each of the three levels of analysis, describe what question or questions you might ask to learn more about child poverty and why that level of analysis is appropriate for your question.
  3. Explain how social units, social structures, and social institutions are related. Using examples from your own life, illustrate the interconnectedness of these concepts.
  4. Consider the social problem of homelessness in the United States. What questions might someone from anthropology ask about homelessness? What about someone from economics? Political science? Psychology? Sociology? Which of these disciplines do you think could best help find a solution for homelessness and why?

Module 2

  1. Compare and contrast two different research methods. For each method, explain what you would choose to study if you could examine anything about political participation among 18-24 year olds, and why that method is appropriate for what you are choosing to research.
  2. Describe one of the five theoretical perspectives mentioned. Further, explain the critiques of that perspective. Do those critiques make the perspective useless? Why or why not?
  3. You have been asked to conduct a study entitled “The effect of television watching on the grades of college freshmen.” What theoretical perspective will you use to guide your study and why? Explain at least two hypotheses you have about the effect of TV on grades. Describe the method you will use to conduct your study and explain why that method is most appropriate.
  4. Imagine you wanted to study the United States military from a functionalist, symbolic interactionist and conflict perspective. What research question will you ask from a functionalist perspective about the military? Why is the functionalist perspective appropriate for this question? What research question will you ask from a symbolic interactionist perspective about the military? Why is the symbolic interactionist perspective appropriate for this question? What research question will you ask from a conflict perspective about the military? Why is the conflict perspective appropriate for this question?
  5. In the late 1960’s, Laud Humphries conducted a study called “The Tearoom Trade”. Humphries posed as a “watch queen” (a man who guards the doors of restrooms in public parks so that men can have sex with other men inside). Humphries then wrote down the license plate numbers of the men who had sex with other men, then looked up their addresses, then disguised his appearance and went to their homes to interview them a year later. Humphries discovered that, contrary to popular opinion, many of the men were actually married to women and living otherwise quiet, middle class lives. Today, this study is considered unethical. In light of what you learned about research ethics, what ethical principles does this study violate? Do you personally feel the benefits of the study (it destroyed many stereotypes) outweighed the risks?

Module 3

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  1. We detailed how societies transform and highlighted the five types of societies that have existed during human existence. Describe each of these five societies in detail, paying specific attention to the primary characteristics of each type of society. In your essay, you should also highlight the cultural changes that occur to move societies from one type to the next.
  2. Globalization is a widespread cultural phenomenon in many nations. Describe globalization, paying specific attention to how it emerged. You should also illustrate how globalization is contributing to the creation of a global culture. Finally, you should offer one argument in favor of globalization and one argument against globalization that relate specifically to how globalization affects national cultures.
  3. How are the four forms of non-material culture used to reinforce the culture of the society? Make sure to describe each of the forms while also detailing how they are used to maintain unity and order within a culture.
  4. How might we understand culture differently if we study it as a Symbolic Interactionist, a Structural Functionalist, or a Conflict Theorist? In your discussion of this question, you should pay attention to the main assumptions of the three theories and how they translate into the study of culture. What beneficial knowledge can we gain by studying culture through each of these three lenses?

Module 4

  1. Mead discussed the concept of the “I” and the “me” as the two parts of the self. Explain each of the two parts. How are the two related? Further, imagine that as you are driving home from the exam today, a car cuts you off and you very nearly get into a car accident. How would your “I” react toward the other driver? Why? How would your “me” react toward the other driver? Why?
  2. Explain Mead’s three stages in the development of the self. Imagine you were working at an elementary school. How would you know a child was still in the first stage? How would you be aware that he or she is in the second stage? Use examples of actual behaviors the children might engage in during each stage to provide support for your explanations.
  3. Thinking about your own socialization process, who were your primary agents of socialization? (Be sure to consider micro, meso, and macro influences.)  How have your primary agents of socialization changed across your life course?
  4. How does social class influence the way a child is socialized? Why might it be beneficial for children to be socialized according to their family’s social class? Why might it be harmful?

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