In this assignment you will do some sociological analysis of your own by applying theories from at least two different authors that aim to explain aspects of economic and status-based inequalities to a current event. For the event, you are free to choose what you think will work well and fits your own interests, and from these authors: Marx, Weber, DuBois, Collins & Bilge, Lorber or Ridgeway. Most students choose something from news reports, a documentary, or a report on a social issue from a reputable advocacy or research organization. Begin by describing and documenting the event/experience/phenomenon, and then introduce and explain the theories and arguments you will apply to it. Be sure to include relevant citations from news sources or other materials to support your description of the event or phenomenon. These are just a few ideas if you are not sure how to get started. There are many possibilities for topics so feel free to go where your interests take you. You are welcome to choose a topic from this list. -Recent unionization drives at Amazon and Starbucks. How do theories about class and status categories, and the relations of production help us understand why this may be happening? -How do far-right politicians appeal to voters? How are class and status-based interests involved? Is either category more important and why? Covid-19 disparities in workplaces and across different social groups. How do class and/or status-based hierarchies and their intersection help us understand disparate impacts of the disease on individuals and communities? -Specific examples about campaign finance, special interests and their influence in our political system. -Controversies over the inclusion of transgender athletes in athletic competitions. -Specific examples of gender and racial inequality, or other status-based inequality. -Regulation of fossil fuel exploration and production and impacts on indigenous communities. The heart of your paper (and the bulk of your grade) will be based on your discussion and application of the theories. Successful papers will make an argument that goes beyond simply re-stating what the author says. You will need to first summarize the theory/argument, and then go on to interpret and apply it to the specific situation, explaining how and why the connection makes sense, and what we can learn from thinking about it from that perspective. You can also identify shortcomings, or areas where the argument or theory doesn’t seem to work well, explaining why this is the case. Strong papers will conclude with an evaluation that describes what you learned about the theory or argument by applying it to a specific case. Here are some questions you can think about for assessing this: In other words, how well does the theory or argument fit the situation and why? Does looking at the situation in light of a particular theory bring any new insights into the situation? Formatting: The paper should be double-spaced and 4-6 pages long, with one inch margins. All references should be cited in your text and you must include a references page. Sociologists typically use ASA style for formatting but you may use MLA or APA if you wish. (https://www.asanet.org/sites/default/files/savvy/documents/teaching/pdfs/Quick_Tips_for_ASA_Style.pdf (Links to an external site.)) Ideas for the Applying Theories Paper Tips: If you have picked your theorists and your topic, but you are finding it very difficult to find anything to say about how a particular theorist’s ideas relate to your topic, then that is a clue that you may want to switch out your theorist or topic. Make an outline before you start writing, that lists the different connections and points you will make in the paper for each theory. Some applications work better than others. Again, if you are struggling to make connections in the outline, consider whether another theorist would be a better fit. Make sure to find a specific news article, research report or other document that you can refer to throughout your paper about the topic you are applying theories to. I recommend focusing on a specific example. For example, your paper will turn out better if you focus on say, lawsuits against Tesla about racial discrimination in the workplace, rather than the general topic of racial discrimination in the workplace. It is much easier to make concrete applications to an actual example than it is to discuss them in an abstract way. Strive for clarity in your writing and edit and proofread your work before turning it in
There are many possibilities for topics so feel free to go where your interests take you.
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