Introduction to Sociology

Analyze a major event sociologically. Analyzing something sociologically is very different than reporting your opinion. It requires all statements to verified. If you tell me about 3000 people were killed on 9/11 be sure to include your source for that figure (for example). Nothing should be written that isnt verifiable in some way. Be sure to include the following questions in your analysis (but do not be limited to just these items): I am uninterested in anything or any analysis that is NOT sociological. This is an assignment at the end of the sociology class and it should reflect that. In other words if you could have written the same paper before starting this class than it certainly wasnt sociological enough. Remember I want to see you critically engaged in the material; that is show me you are thinking and you understand the material. A recent example is the shooting of congress member Giffords in Tucson recently. Other examples include 9/11 major elections crime poverty racism sexism homophobia Columbine etc marriage diet tv any other aspect of American culture that interests you. Keep in mind though most sources you find on these matters will not be sociological so their conclusions likely wont be very sociological either. It is up to you to take the facts of the situation and weave a sociological narrative using those facts and what youve learned from the course all term long. One thing to remember you are to explain this event sociologically in light of a (or multiple) social problems. In doing so you are to explain why the common explanations we hear in the media and by laypersons is inadequate for fully explaining the event. An extremely brief example of what I’m talking about (DO NOT use this example of school shootings): The Virginia Tech school shooting was mostly framed within a psychological perspective. Much of the arguments we heard were that the man was mentally deranged sick in the head or under stress. While certainly pertinent to the discussion they are not the only explanations. Using the sociological imagination we look for the link between the individual and society. Questions like these then arise:

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Why did this happen from a sociological perspective? What social context did it occur in? How many are affected annually by the problem? Use sociological vocabulary (correctly!) and thoroughly explain your ideas. Which sociological theory best explains this event? Does it take multiple theories? Why is it that studies show school shooters are disproportionately men and young boys? Why don’t women or girls usually commit these types of crimes? How were his cries for attention handled within the institution of the school? The type of society we live in glorifies violence; our history is fraught with violence (e.g. our genocide of Native Americans slavery etc.). Our culture also glorifies guns and guns as a method of solving disputes. How are men socialized to deal with anger and other emotions? What was it about this time and this place that made this event more likely to occur than previous times or other places? These are examples of using then link between society and the individual to explain human actions. Why did this happen from a sociological perspective?What social context did it occur in?How many are affected annually by the problem?Use sociological vocabulary (correctly!) and thoroughly explain your ideas.Which sociological theory best explains this event? Does it take multiple theories?

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