Writing Assignment Two covers material from Chapters Eight through Fourteen. While students may answer each chapter section independently from the others, all questions from all seven chapters must be
addressed in the paper. The ambitious student may want to make linkages between the learned concepts from each chapter. Students should always use (and cite) their text book and course support material
as their primary resource. A well written paper has both breadth and depth, supports statements with illustrative examples, and has minimal spelling and grammatical errors. Please double space! Papers should
be original and independent work.
From Chapter Eight:
Read about Thalidomide.
Does the Thalidomide case meet the sociological criteria of “deviance” (see page 242 of your textbook)? Justify your answer using your sociological imagination and details from the article. How would an
“absolutist” explain the Thalidomide case? How would a “relativist” (see page 237-240)?
From Chapter Nine:
Using examples, show how the tragedy of the commons and the free rider problem are different kinds of social dilemmas.
Google “Raymond Zack Alameda.” What would Max Weber have to say about this in light of his work on bureaucracies?
From Chapter Ten:
How are relative poverty and absolute poverty different from one another? What kind of poverty do we have here in the United States (and how do you know)? What is the culture of poverty thesis and why is
it so harmful when used as an explanation of social problems?
The next part of your paper requires you to research some statistics. Below you will find a list of questions about global population dynamics and economics. Students should research the answers and provide
references as to where they found the answers. Make sure to use reliable sources. For EACH question students should discuss why a sociologist would be interested in these findings.
1) What is the global population? How many people/percentage of the global population live on less than $2.50 a day?
2) How many children (persons under the age of 18) are there in the world? How many of them are living in poverty?
3) How many people/percentage of the global population have inadequate access to safe water?
4) What percentage of the global population live without electricity?
5) Globally, how many children die each day due to conditions of poverty?
Find one organization where the mission is to address global poverty and answer these questions*:
• What is the organization and how do they explain their mission?
• How do they explain the cause/causes of global poverty?
• What specific policies or actions do they suggest for addressing global poverty?
*You must provide citations/links to where you did this research.
From Chapter Eleven:
Given what you have read in chapter eleven about prejudice and discrimination, can a person be prejudice without discriminating? Can a person discriminate without being personally prejudiced? Please explain
your responses to these two questions.
I would also like students to read the article Thin Ice (this appears in a non-academic journal but is written by a well known social scientist) and then answer the following:
• What is the stereotype threat – how does it work to impact academic performance?
• Discuss one experiment to test the stereotype effect – what was the outcome?
• What did the experimental variation involving white males taking a math test disprove?
From Chapter Twelve:
What is the difference between sexual harassment and gender harassment (provide examples of each)? Using the work of Laura Miller, what role might power play in these types of harassment?
Students should visit the website Mom’s Rising. Select one of their “Issues and Resources” links (upper right hand side of home page) and connect this issue to one core discussion from Chapter 12.
From Chapter Thirteen:
Using the U.S. Census American Fact Finder, make a quick demographic profile of two cities: Sun City, Arizona and East St. Louis, Illinois with regard to: male/female sex ratios, age demographics,
race/ethnicity demographics, average household income, and any other household demographics you find significant.
Next, students should draw some conclusions about how the distribution of the population across certain variables (sex, age, education level, reported race, home ownership, mean income etc.) might influence
• The types of businesses that would succeed or fail
• The political issues that would be considered important (and even the relative involvement of citizens in political activity)
• The suicide rate (review Durkheim and suicide for possibilities)
• Important health care issues
• The recreational opportunities available
I have linked two “organizations” below and I would like students to discuss each of the questions that follow:
Who are Freegans? (or you can read here) What are their goals? Are they a social movement? If so, what kind? If not, why not? What social institution/s are they most interested in transforming? Who
demographically would be most interested in becoming a Freegan? Who would be most likely to oppose this group? Would you join this group? Why or why not?
What is the Quiverfull movement? What are their goals? Are they a social movement? If so, what kind? If not, why not? What social institution/s are they most interested in transforming? Who demographically
would be most interested in becoming a member of Quiverfull? Who would be most likely to oppose this group? Would you join this group? Why or why not?
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