Research is conducted on a daily basis in areas such as science, marketing, and government studies. Researchers use the scientific method, which is a step-by-step approach to conducting research. It is important to utilize the scientific method to eliminate personal bias and ensure validity and reliability.
Identifying the steps in the scientific method. Also discuss qualitative and quantitative research methods commonly used by sociologists.
The term culture is used in a variety of contexts in our everyday lives, and is defined as the objects created by a society as well as the ways of thinking, acting and behaving in a society. As a sociology student it is important to understand various elements of culture.
In the following story there are a variety of elements of culture. Think about how the material and nonmaterial culture presents itself within the story about Sarah.
“Taking a break from studying around midnight, Sarah decided to drive to get coffee in her brand new convertible Mercedes. On her way to the coffee shop, while looking down to read an incoming text, she ran a stop sign on a neighborhood street and was pulled over by the police. In a thick Southern accent, the officer asked her for her driver’s license and insurance verification. As she was handing both to the officer, she realized she was wearing her spring break t-shirt with the words, “I Survived Spring Break 2012.” Nervously, she blurted out, “Officer, I am a college student, and I have been studying, and I have not been drinking, and I am just going to get coffee.” After receiving a ticket from the police officer she noticed her badge, which stated, “Protect and Serve.” Her frustration quickly dissipated as she realized that the police officer was carrying out her duty to maintain public safety and her actions could have caused a serious accident. Contemplating the night’s event, she drove 10 miles under the speed limit the rest of the way to the coffee shop.”
Give some highlightson your understanding of material and nonmaterial culture. Clearly define material and nonmaterial culture. Next, identify the elements of culture in the story. Your response should include an analysis of both the material and nonmaterial culture within the story.
Sociologists define society as a fairly large amount of people who reside in the same geographic area, are independent of other people who are outside their territory or area, and participate in a mutual culture.
Sharing a similar culture with other members of society helps to define the group to which you belong. Members of the society share the cultural experience and transmit it from one generation to the next and archive their culture through various means of expressions such as art, literature, and even video recordings.
Provide highlights on your understanding of culture and the process of social transmission within a society.
Socialization is defined as the process by which the individual internalizes the norms, values and beliefs of their social world. The socialization process occurs throughout the life course of the individual and is influenced by agents of socialization, which include a variety of social institutions and daily social interactions.
Think about how you have been influenced by agents of socialization throughout your life. Consider how you have been molded and shaped through years of socialization.
Compare and contrast how agents of socialization impacted your life when you were a high school student and now as a college student. Be sure to define the term agents of socialization and identify the specific categories of agents of socialization in your response.
In the United States, 40% of the adult single population or 40 million people have tried online dating. According to eHarmony.com, 1/3 of married couples in the United States meet online. There appears to be a dramatic shift since the introduction of the internet as to how people are meeting and interacting with their potential love interests.
Think about social interaction and human behavior. Social interaction is the behavior between two (or more) people, which usually refers to what people do when they are in one another’s presence, but also includes communications at a distance. It is through social interaction that people react and change based upon actions and reactions. Society is a dynamic, ever-changing reflection of new forms of human behavior. Consider how the world of online dating and social interaction is redefining how people date and even marry today.
How can you apply the concept of social interaction to online dating in the United States? Give some examples of emerging or new dating behaviors associated with dating online and via social media.
Social stratification is the structured inequality between different groups of people. Karl Marx provided one of the earliest explanations of the conditions of social stratification within societies. His explanations focused on an economic analysis of capitalism as a primary reason for social stratification. Marx identified the conflict between social classes as one of the major reasons for social stratification.
The class system is one of the four systems of stratification that have existed in societies around the world. Think about the other systems of stratification that sociologists have identified.
Please identify and define the remaining systems of stratification. Next, discuss the major components of Karl Marx’s view of social stratification.
Karl Marx saw two social classes: those who own the means of production and those who do not. Max Weber theorized that there was more to social class than production. Weber identified three components of social class: status, class, and power.
Entrepreneurship is a vital part of the American economy and for many, the pursuit of owning a business is a critical part of elevating one’s social class.
Discuss the key components of both Marx and Weber’s theories of social class as they relate to entrepreneurship in the United States.
The American Dream is the belief that prosperity and success are available to all Americans who work hard and are self-determined. The American Dream was a catalyst for the rapid economic and social development of the United States. Most Americans define the American Dreamas earning a college degree, owning their own home, taking vacations and experiencing upward social mobility.
Due to changes in social structures such as the economy and corporate America, some argue the American Dreamis no longer available to all Americans. On the other hand, others still believe anyone can climb the social ladder and experience social mobility. Think about whether you agree or disagree with the idea that social mobility is achievable for most Americans.
Discuss your opinion about social mobility and the American Dream. Be sure to explain the sociological terms structural mobility and life chances in your response. Integrate these terms and concepts to discuss whether the American Dream is achievable for most Americans.
Teen birth rates in the US are very high. About 400,000 American girls between the ages 15-19 give birth each year, which is one of the highest rates of teen births among industrialized countries. In the US there are 39 live births per thousand girls. By comparison, the birth rate in industrialized European countries is in the single digits.
Think about how societal issues impact individuals. C. Wright Mills introduced the idea of sociological imagination to explain how sociology can be applied to our everyday experience. Consider how he defines this concept and the importance of being able to make sense of the high rates of teen births in the US.
How can you apply the concept of the sociological imagination, as described by C. Wright Mills, to the issue of high teen birth rates in the United States? Using C. Wright Mills’ terms, clearly define the sociological imagination and provide examples of how it can be applied to understanding the issue of teen birth rates in the US. Be sure to include how changing sexual norms influences the issue of teen birth rates.
Sociologists attempt to understand why members of a society engage in deviant and criminal behavior. From a macro perspective, deviance occurs when the means to achieve culturally defined goals are blocked. This may be due in part to structural inequalities and power imbalances. On the micro level, there are three theories that provide explanations for deviance and crime.
Consider how socialization influences individuals to choose deviant and criminal behavior. Becker, Sutherland and Hirschi have three different theories about how socialization contributes to such behavior. Becker’s theory is called labeling theory, Sutherland’s is called differential association theory, and Hirschi’s is known as control theory. Each provides a unique explanation to help us understand deviance and crime in our everyday lives.
Provide highlights on your understanding of deviance and crime. In your response be sure to define deviance and crime and explain the three micro level theories of Becker, Sutherland and Hirschi.
Throughout human history the first question parents have asked at the birth of a child has been whether the child is a boy or a girl. The answer to this question impacts the socialization of that child for the rest of his or her life. For example, from birth children are assigned the colors of pink or blue and given specific gender related toys depending on their sex.
Think about how you have been socialized in relation to sex and gender. Consider your parents’ and media’s influence over your life as a male or female as well as the broader impact of society on masculinity and femininity.
Discuss on the concepts of sex, gender and gender roles. First, explain the differences between sex and gender. Next, provide examples of how gender roles relate to your personal life.
Women are nearly half of the workforce. They receive more under and graduate degrees than men yet only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This earning gap is found in almost every employment industry to include medical, legal, finance, and even education.
Despite legislation such as The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and lawsuits to abolish wage disparity based upon gender, the discrepancy continues to exist.
Gender stratification is the females’ (and males’) unequal access to property, power, and prestige. Sociologists have attributed the earnings gap to the imbalance in the patriarchal system that favored men thus an inherent power imbalance in the workplace.
Do women earn less money than men due to poor negotiation? Are women socialized to not appear aggressive and demanding in professional settings which could impact salary negotiations and as a result lead to lower wages for women?
Apply the concept of gender stratification to wage inequality. Discuss the sociological reasons as to why the wage gap continues today.
Is 60 the new 30? Baby Boomers make up 35% of our adult population. They are the highest earners and most educated generation in American history.
Aging and the elderly in the United States has been redefined based upon Baby Boomers. During the agricultural era old age began at around age 40 whereas industrialization brought improved public health, medicine, and nutrition.
Baby Boomers are the agents of pop culture, CEOs of most Fortune 500 companies, and they outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods and services, yet still are impacted by ageism.
Discuss how the Baby Boom generation has changed society’s definition of aging and the elderly.
The family is a social institution as well as an agent of socialization that is socially constructed and historically changing. For example, historically traditional families were the norm. Today there are more single-parent, divorced and same-sex families than there are traditional families.
Sociological theories help us understand how institutions have changed over time. Our understanding of the family as a social institution can be enhanced by applying theories. Consider how the three major theories, Functionalist developed by Durkheim, Conflict developed by Marx, and Symbolic Interactionist developed by Mead can be applied to the family.
Apply the three sociological theories, as described by Marx, Durkheim and Mead to a discussion of the family as a social institution. Be sure to explain each theory and provide examples of how they can be applied to understanding the family.
An estimated 190 million people move from one nation to another every year. Immigration globally is at an all-time high. Roughly one million immigrants legally enter the United States annually seeking employment opportunities. In 2011, over 25% of the U.S. workforce was foreign-born.
Some workers are labeled transnationals or migrant workers whereas others are labeled illegal immigrants. Consider the process of assimilation among immigrants and their children, the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy, and the role of immigrants in the creation of American identity.
Discuss the social and cultural impact such migration has on society. Be sure to research the immigration policies of the United States and include which racial and ethnic groups are given preference and the process of assimilation.
Modern industrialized societies establish political systems by which they are governed. There are five rudimentary types of government: monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, and democracy. Within any society a group or individual decides how resources will be used and goods allocated. As resources and goods are often perceived as limited, the struggle for both authority and power involves politics.Harold Lasswell defined politics as “who gets what, when, and how.”
Provide and discuss highlights on your understanding of each type of government and be sure to include examples of countries of each type.
Religion according to Emile Durkheim is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things. 89% of the world’s population practices religion. The five major religions in the world are: Judaism (.2%), Buddhism (6.7%), Hinduism (13.7%), Islam (22.5%), and Christianity (33%).
After much debate, the General Assembly of the United Nations declares the world will practice a single religion. What impact would a single or universal religion have on society today?
Discuss and apply the three sociological theories: Functionalist, Symbolic Interactionist, and Conflict as it relates to the social impact a single or universal religion would have on the world today. Be sure to explain each theory and provide examples of how they can be applied to religion and society.
An estimated 2,000,000 children were being homeschooled during the 2010 conventional school year and the number of students learning at home continues to grow.
Home schooling settings are often critiqued as places where children will not be socialized due to the lack of contact or interaction with other children thus these children will be unable to fully participate in society because they lacked “socialization.” The results of a 2003 study, “Homeschooling Grows Up,” which captured how home schoolers were faring as adults reported good news for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.
Social institutions are the structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human collectivity. Social institutions include peer groups, schools, religion, family, and language.
Discuss how applying school as a social institution to the home school environment. Be sure to explain manifest and latent functions and provide examples
To have health insurance or to not. That is the question. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides Americans with better health security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms. ACA requires that the uninsured acquire insurance policies within a particular timeframe.
Is this the medicalization of society? Medicalization of society as used by Conflict theorists refers to the role of medicine as a major form of social control.
Discuss social control and regulated medical coverage from a Conflict theorist perspective. Be sure to take into account medicine as a regulating mechanism or social control.
Social change occurs when the social order is significantly altered over time, such as profound changes in cultural norms and values, and behavioral patterns. We all experience social changes over our lifetime due to macro level causes.
Think about the cultural norms that have changed from the 1960s to today. Discuss and identify the macro causes of social change. Specifically include examples of how war and technology may have contributed to these shifts in cultural norms.
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