Minor essay: Students will be required to select one social issue raised in the course in which there are at least two conflicting common-sense views of the issue. They will then outline how they would go about sociologically investigating their selected issue, indicating three specific research questions they would ask, while drawing on existing academic studies of the issue.

The aim of this assignment is to enable students to understand the differences between: common sense and social scientific approaches to contemporary social issues: macro and micro levels of a social scientific approach. Before starting your assignment make sure that you fully understand the distinctions between common sense and social scientific approaches to social issues and problems.

  • Select ONE social issue


b. Source and provide two images that reflect each point of view. Briefly indicate how each image reflects a particular viewpoint.

c. In the introduction, stress the emergence and sociological significance of your social issue.

d. Describe how 2 specific groups have a different interpretation or common-sense viewpoints of the social world. Explain why these two common sense viewpoints are in conflict and/or tension. In explaining why, the group’s viewpoints are in conflict you should be able to relate the group’s particular worldview to a broader set of ideologies, conflicts and issues of social change. Draw from the lectures, readings and class discussion.

e. Briefly review at least three relevant studies that appear in refereed journal articles that relate to your topic. From these studies or your broader reading, you should also identify three sociological concepts about contemporary society and argue which relates best to your topic.

General notes:

Cite at least seven academic sources including course readings. Students must ensure that all ideas, statistics, facts, and direct quotations from others used in their essay have been adequately referenced. Students must address all parts of the essay assignment. In general students can write up to + or – 10% of the specified number of words without penalty. If an essay is + or – 10% words below the expected number of words the student should expect this reflected in the grading. Title pages, reference lists, and in-text references DO NOT count. Essays should be written in 12pt font and 1.5 line spacing. Make sure that the essay question is written exactly as given before the actual content of the essay. Please ensure all assignment document files are named with you family name first. The criteria and standards employed to assess this assessment are detailed on the attached Feedback Form for Assessment.

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