Identify a sociologically relevant topic or problem of your choosing. For your final project, you must link that topic/problem to the wide range of tools of sociological thought you have learned this semester in a presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) or written review. Your project must substantially fulfill the following requirements:
- Give a background of the topic or problem you have chosen and discuss why it would benefit from being understood through a sociological lens. What assumptions do people make about it that sociology can inform (or change)? What does sociology bring to the table that differs from people’s everyday social and cultural assumptions?
- Discuss how two sociological theories can be applied. In doing so, you should make clear that you understand how the core perspectives of the theory can connect to and offer insight on the real-world example you have chosen. In other words, how would this theory interpret your topic?
- It may be easiest to choose from the major theories (Structural-Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Conflict Theory*), but recall that there are some other theories presented in your readings.
- Discuss how two sociological concepts can be applied. In doing so, you should show how these concepts can be seen at work inside the topic/problem you’ve identified. Use them to zero in on aspects of your example and interpret them. You may choose from the following list of concepts:
- Social Structure
- Social inequality*
- Social identity
- Including groups and categories
- Power and authority (counts as one)
- Social change
(*Important: note that if you choose Conflict Theory as one of your theories, you may not choose social inequality as one of your concepts.)
If you do a presentation, remember that you will not actually have the opportunity to present it to your instructor in person. This means that you cannot explain what’s on your slides. Therefore, you should not use them as rough, illustrative guides. While they do not have to read like a paper, they must contain all the content required for the project. A few brief sentences will not adequately meet each requirement; you will be evaluated on how thoroughly and how well you meet these requirements. Accordingly, use as many slides as it takes to fully present your work and your thought. If necessary, err on the side of “too much”!
If you choose to do a written paper instead of a presentation, it must be 5 pages in length (Times New Roman, 12-pt font, double spaced, 1″ margins).
Whichever option you choose, please provide a list of references at the end and be sure to disclose in the body of your presentation or paper where you have used words, figures, ideas, or any other material from your sources. You are not required to use any references other than your textbook, but you are required to identify this and any other source that you use.