Components of the essay
(1) Choose a sociological perspective through which you will analyze a current sociological issue of your choosing. Summarize the characteristics of your chosen perspective (functionalism, conflict theory, feminism, or symbolic interaction). How does this perspective view society and the individual? How is social order maintained and how is it changed according to your chosen perspective? (expected length: approximately one paragraph of 6 to 12 sentences, or the equivalent)
(2) Choose a major proponent of this perspective who you believe helps us to better understand the social world. Summarize one or two contributions this person made to the field of sociology. (expected length: approximately one paragraph of 6 to 12 sentences, or the equivalent)
(3) Choose a current issue that can be explained sociologically (i.e. changes in family structure, the functioning of the US political system, the status of race or ethnic relations, or the like – choose any relevant topic of interest). For ideas, think of the topics we have discussed throughout class. Summarize the issue, focusing on factual information. (expected length: approximately 8 to 15 sentences)
(4) Analyze the current issue from your chosen sociological perspective. From the standpoint of your chosen perspective, what are the reasons for the issue or social forces involved? How might it be resolved or improved? (expected length: approximately 8 to 15 sentences).
In short, you will (1) summarize your chosen perspective, (2) summarize contributions made by a sociologist tied to your perspective, (3) summarize a social issue, and (4) analyze the issue from your chosen perspective.
The vast majority of your essay should be your own description, summarization, and analysis. However, you should make two or three specific references (i.e. brief quote or paraphrase) to either the textbook or other academic sources of information (i.e. academic journal article or research article). Obviously you’ll be drawing on information from the textbook throughout your essay.