Sociological analysis of a current event

In this assignment you will conduct a sociological analysis of a current event. Choose something that’s happening in the world that has been reported on in the news media and write about it from a sociological perspective. The project can be broken down into two parts.

Part One: Preparation

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  1. Identify an appropriate event. An event is something that takes place in time. Look for relevant occurrences that have recently taken place and that can be examined using a sociological perspective.
  2. Decide what subject or subjects your event is about. A subject is a general category that helps you analyze, explain, and understand the event. If the event is about houseless people being expelled from their campground by local law enforcement, then the subjects could be homelessness and poverty or property rights and public spaces or law enforcement and affordable housing, etc. You are in charge of determining the subject (or subjects) you want to use.
  3. Formulate a guiding question (or questions)to help you narrow your focus. What do you want to know about this event? YOU MUST FORMULATE YOUR GUIDING QUESTION IN QUESTION FORM AND IT MUST APPEAR AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR PAPER AS PART OF THE NARRATIVE OF THE OPENING PARAGRAPH. I have you do this because sociology is a social science, rather than a political ideology. We use empirical methods, which begin with questions that we wish to answer, followed by a careful look at  the available evidence. This is in contrast to starting out with an answer and cherry-picking evidence to support a biased viewpoint.
  4. Conduct your search.
    • Once you’ve identified your event, collect and read as many different news reports about it.
    • Once you’ve decided on your subject, refer to your textbook to learn more about the sociological theoryand the existing research that has been done on that subject. This will help you come up with the best sociological concepts to help you analyze the event and answer your question(s).
    • Use the Articles and Databases in the CR Library to find scholarly articleson the subject. Pick those articles that will help you better analyze and understand your chosen event. You will need at least one source from a social scientist or that has been published in a social science journal.

Part Two: Analysis and Writing

  1. Write up your report.Describe the event and analyze it from a sociological perspective. To guide you, use the following questions for analysis:
    • Whatis happening? What are people doing?
    • Whereis this taking place? How does this social context inform us about the event?
    • Whois involved? What personalities, social groups, social categories, classes, organizations, countries, and/or institutions are engaged?
    • Howdid it happen? What is the history and the precipitating factors that led up to this event?
    • Whyis it happening? Here you must report on what people say (their ideologies and interests) as well as draw on sociologically theory to make informed judgment about the causes and conditions that generated this event. Sociological theory will help you do this part.
  2. Make an assessmentof the meaning of this event for our broader understanding of sociology . How does it relate to the overall subject(s)? What sociological lessons can we draw from it? Apply what you have learned in this class.


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