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Writing In Sociology
Paper 2 Options
Please do one (1) of the following:
1) Over the course of a few days, watch your favorite T.V. shows (or Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and analyze the characters in terms of social class.In other words, if you just came to this planet, and knew nothing about social class in the United States, what would you learn from watching media?Pick at least 2 shows, preferably more, so that you can have as large a sample as possible.
2) Some specific points to watch for: what is the social class makeup of the show?Is there much interaction between characters of different social classes?How about the commercials- are they geared to the same audience that the show is geared to (in terms of social class)?These are just a few of the points to watch for, but any comments you have should be included.
The paper should be a minimum of 500 words of text with a word count listed at the bottom.
Points will be deducted for papers that are sloppily written and for those that are less than the required length.
Procedure: Interview someone who is at least one generation older than you (i.e. someone your grandparentsâ age- DO NOT interview your parents.The idea is to learn something about their socialization and definition of social class over time.Using your Sociological Imagination, look for social influences that contributed to their idea of social class.Does this person have a definition of social class that meshes with contemporary ideas (or your own personal ideas)?Do you think they âfeltâ social class in similar ways to you?
Assignment: The write-up should be a minimum of 500-word summary of the intervieweesâ responses, plus your own impressions.
Some sample questions to get you started:
1. Where were you born?What was the social class of your neighborhood/community?
2. For those who immigrated to the US: Why did you leave?Why the US?
3. How did your household support itself?
4. Did you rely on particular friends or family members to help you in hard times?
5. What were your goals and aspirations as a young man/woman?What did you want?Want to be?Were there things that you wanted to do, to be, but couldnât because you didnât have the resources?Freedom?Support?
6. What were your criteria for âsuccessâ?Was it the same for your family/friends?
7. Did you ever think about yourself in terms of your social class when you were younger (âif only I had more money, then I couldâ¦â?)Do you now?
8. Do you think your own social class position has changed over the years?If so, who or what was responsible for this social mobility (for better or worse)?
9. Do you think social class has mattered, for you as an individual, over the course of your lifetime?
10. How about today- does social class matter more today than it did a generation ago, or does it matter less?Why?
**These are just ideas to generate discussion.You donât have to ask each single question, and you are free to add as many as you like that are not on this list.Enjoy yourself, and good luck.