All assignments should be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Why did Monique Sternin and her family go to Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1990?
2. What problems did she and her family face in starting their mission in helping poor Vietnamese children?
3. She notes that in every village, there are always some healthy children amongst very poor families. What was the explanation for these cases?
4. What methods and ideas helped Monique help to rehabilitate more than 40% of the malnourished children in Vietnamese villages?
5. What is positive deviance?
6. How did an understanding of positive deviance help to fight infection of malaria on the isolated Myanmar island of Kyunsu?
7. Why is it important to avoid solutions imposed from the outside and choose community-based solutions in addressing these health and nutrition issues?
Note: This website may also be helpful with your understanding of "positive deviance": http://www.positivedeviance.org/
Due on or before Friday, March 17 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: email@example.com, with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI6
Watch this video(BBC Documentaries; 46 minutes) and answer the following questions:
1. What is the meaning of the term "six degrees of separation"?
2. What is the paradox of the "small world problem" and how is it solved?
3. What is a network hub?
4. Who are society's "hubs"?
5. How can the reality of social networks lead to negative outcomes?
6. How can our undertstanding of networks help to solve these problems?
Due on or before Friday, Mar 3 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI5
Watch this video, a primer on Social Construction (YouTube ~10 min), and answer the questions below.
1. What is the definition of "social construction"?
2. Why are language and symbols (for example, words, flags, and colors) important to the idea of social construction? Give an example that does NOT appear in the video.
3. How is food a socially constructed category of reality? Give an example that does NOT appear in the video.
4. How is socially constructed meaning created using body gestures? Give an example that does NOT appear in the video.
5. Why do social constructions matter and why are they difficult to change?
Due on or before Friday, February 10 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: email@example.com, with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI4
Watch this video about cultural differences between East and West (if you're having a hard time finding the answers, the time markers indicate roughly the minute within which each answer can be found. But for context, it is important that you watch the video in its entirety).
West and East - Cultural Differences (EBS Special, posted Dec 5, 2012, YouTube)
1. What group would you put the flower in, A or B? Why? (0:20 seconds)
2. What is the basic cultural difference between East and West regarding the relationship between objects? (~3 minutes)
3. What object would you categorize as a "dox"? Why? (6:08)
4. What is the distinction pointed out regarding cultural understanding of material substance? (~ 8 minutes)
5. What is the point made about Western and Eastern distinctions regarding individuals and groups? (~10 min)
6. How do Eastern and Western trained brains work differently when focusing on objects in a picture? (~12 min)
7. Which culture uses more nouns and which uses more verbs? Why did these differences develop? (~13 min)
8. Can the person with the smile on his face look happy? What does this tell us about cultural differences? (25:30)
9. How does the property of an object relate to its surroundings and what are the words used to describe objects and their surroundings? (~29 min)
10. Of the monkey, banana, and panda, which two do you think should be grouped together? Why? (36:56)
11. Why do Easterners and Westerners choose flower A or flower B? What does this tell us about how we think about the social world around us?
12. How is human language and thought related to these cultural distinctions? (general question related to understanding of video)"?
Due on or before Friday, February 3 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
DO NOT send as attachment. E-mail your completed answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with SUBJECT LINE: SOCI3
Online Media 2: The Problem of Common Sense
Watch this video about "common sense" and why it is a problem for sociological thinking. Duncan Watts, TEDx (Dec 1, 2011, YouTube 15 min). Then send your answers by email to Professor Reymers (see below).
1) What is "The Puzzle" that sociologist Duncan Watts is investigating in his presentation?
2) How does Watts define "common sense"?
3) What is the "The Problem" of common sense?
4) What do we do with "stories"?
5) What is the solution to large-scale social problems?
6) What is the tool invented in the recent past that has helped sociology the most (the "telescope" of sociology)?
Due on or before Friday, 1/27 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
DO NOT send as an attachment.
E-mail your completed answers to: email@example.com, with the
SUBJECT line to read: SOCI2.
Watch this video about the "sociological imagination" and discuss the questions below in an email to your Professor. Recommended additional reading material: Mills' original article "The Promise of Sociology"
1. What is another personal trouble (other than obesity, as described in the video) that has social factors that contribute?
2. How do social structures contribute to social problems?
3. How does using the sociological imagination help us examine human behavior?
Due on or before Friday, 1/20 at 5pm. No late assignments will be accepted.
(Note: for regular correspondence, do not use the above link; if you do, be sure to remove the automatic subject line heading "SOCI#", as these emails get automatically filed in a folder other than my inbox).
DO NOT send your answers as an attachment. E-mail your completed answers directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the SUBJECT line to read: SOCI1.
Administrative Note: I will give you 3 chances to get the subject heading correct in your online media emails to me. For example, when you sent the first online media assignment, you should have used a subject heading in the email of "SOCI1." If you wrote something else (like, for instance, "Online Media Questions 1" or "soci 1 hw" or "from Joe Student"), or if you have included your assignment as an attachment, you have not paid attention to the details of the assignment instructions (details which make it crucially easier for me to organize your responses and read what you have written). You can do this three times without penalty, but a fourth instance of not paying attention to the details will result in a 1-point reduction from your Online Media grade. For the vast majority who are doing it right, thank you for paying attention to the details! - Regards, Prof Reymers