Assignment #1: Engaging Your Sociological Imagination

Assignmen t #1: Engaging Your Sociological Imagination(10 points)

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Before completing this assignment, students should read chapter 1 and listen to the chapter 1 audio lecture.

Students need to choose an article, podcast, or news segment from a reputable source (see list below) that engages with something current within the social world.

1.)Summarize the article in one clear concise paragraph. Make sure to maintain objectivity and not include your personal opinion.

2.)Analyze the article (or aspects of the article) using the 3 Sociological Perspectives. (See table one as reference). Each perspective application should be 3-4 sentences.

3.)Compose three discussion questions that relate to the article. Discussion question should be analytical, meaning there’s no right or wrong answer, but rather can be analyzed from various viewpoints. Consider “how” and “why questions, as opposed to “what” or “when”.

4.)Read and respond to at least one of your classmate’s discussion questions. Your response to their discussion should be a minimum of 150 words

Reputable News Sources: Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC, PBS, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, AP, Reuters, The Atlantic, The Economist, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, VOX, The Hill, Slate, The Fiscal Times

Scroll down for Table 1

Sociological Perspective Level of Analysis Focus Examples

1. Symbolic Interactionism Micro (small groups; friends, family, aggregates) Use of symbols; Face-to-face interactions. Social psychology and socialization to define the situation. People act according to their symbolic interpretation of the situation War- one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter depending on the way they interpret the situation. Soldiers are socialized via the military to think collectively. Americans have been taught that questioning the government is being “unpatriotic” and offensive to troops

2. Functionalism Macro (large groups, countries, racial/ethnic categories, gender categories) looks at the “big” picture Relationship between the parts of society; How aspects of society are functional (adaptive); society works in parts to create a whole, assumes consensus amongst members of the populations War-protection and retaliation against outside forces or threats, creates solidarity amongst the people (bad guys vs. good guys) Social Darwinism; the strongest group survives; creates hierarchical structures. Contributes to the economy/employment; rebuilding and weapons manufacturing. Inspires technological innovations

Dysfunctions-ruins societies, injuries and death. Post- traumatic stress disorder. Stress/tension for citizens on both sides

3. Conflict Theory Macro (large groups, countries, racial categories/ethnic, gender categories) looks at the “big” picture Competition for scarce resources; How the elite (bourgeoisie) control the poor and weak (proletariat). Examines exploitation and inequality. Does a good job at explaining racism, sexism, and social inequality War-those in power determine when war is necessary; war is exploitative. Imperialism takes resources from one country and redistributes to the victor. Working/middle class is doing the “dirty” work while the upper-class benefits by profiting from resources. Murder is only acceptable when the government has sanctioned it

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