Here are the key things to keep in mind regarding your Core Assessment Research Paper:
•This "research paper" is worth 200 points and should take at least 8-10 pages (MINIMUM 2,000 words) to adequately complete.
•One of the primary goals of this course is for you to understand the "relationship between your individual experiences and the forces in the larger society that shapes your actions and reactions" – the Sociological Imagination. So this paper will be a reflection of the sociological theories and concepts you have studied to demonstrate your understanding of the Sociological Imagination.
•This Core Assessment Paper has been designed for you demonstrate that you have understood and met the Core Learning Outcomes outlined at the beginning of the course.
•Throughout this paper you MUST include thoughtful, meaningful examples to support your work and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.
•Your paper should include at least three (3) library references to books or academic articles (your textbook COUNTS as one resource and you can use the online Park Library Resources to support your research effort), and at least three (3) other web-based references to support your answers. PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT use Wikipedia or any other type of "encyclopedia" as a source for this paper.
•Your research paper grade will be determined as follows:
◦60% = the sociological presentation
◦10% = style, including competence with the APA format (for information on the APA style and format go to the APA Resources link on the Course Home menu.
◦10% = logical flow and organization
◦10% = analysis, application, and examples
◦10% = evaluation and critique
• MAKE SURE you format your paper so it is easy to read. There are three (3) major parts to the assignment, so break you work into readable "chunks" based upon the major parts identified below.
•You will submit your Core Assessment Research Paper using the Dropbox.
Part I – The Sociological Perspective
CLEARLY identify a current social problem/issue (with research support) that affects you personally. Use the "sociological perspective" to discuss the problem/issue and include these elements in your answer:
•Discuss IN DETAIL which of the major theoretical perspectives in Sociology that best "explains" the social problem/issue, and be sure to demonstrate your thorough understanding of the theoretical perspective based upon the text AND supporting research.
•Explain the "cultural" components/elements that contribute to the causes, effects, and/or solutions of the problem/issue.
•Identify and discuss the relationship of the "socialization" process to the issue/problem, causes and solutions, make sure and talk about what "agents of socialization" are important in your discussion.
Part II – Social Inequality
The focus of this section of the paper is on several key concepts; social class, gender, and race/ethnicity, and the how these relate to the overall concept of social inequality. Here are the questions/issues to address in this part of the paper:
•Identify as clearly as possible your social class as it relates to your personal (family) wealth, income, and occupational status and the relationship of your social class to your educational journey, past, present and future.
•Identify your gender and discuss the consequences of your gender on current and potential occupational status, wealth, and income.
•Identify your race/ethnicity and discuss the positive and/or negative consequences related to access to educational and occupational opportunities AND whether or not individual and/or institutional discrimination has affected your life chances.
Part III – Social Institutions
The focus of this part of the Core Assessment is on several of the dominant social institutions in society as presented in the text as “chapters”:
•Chapter 8: Social Class in the United States
•Chapter 11: Politics and the Economy
•Chapter 12: Marriage and the Family
•Chapter 13: Education and Religion
Here is what you need to do:
• Select two (2) of the chapters identified above and then focus on EACH of the institutions covered in the chapter and discuss sociologically how they affect you and others.
•Use information from the text, other resources, and your personal experiences to critically evaluate the relationship between the institutions and the social trends and their effects on you and others.
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