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Social Movements and Community Change - SOCI 360

SOCI 360 - Morrisville State College
Prof. Kurt Reymers

Media Interpretation Assignments:

Media Interpretation Due Dates:

MI#1: DUE NO LATER THAN Thursday Sept 19
Here's a copy of Dr. K's first Media Interpretation

MI#2: DUE NO LATER THAN Thursday Oct 10 17

MI#3: DUE NO LATER THAN Tuesday Oct 31 Nov 12

MI#4: DUE NO LATER THAN Thursday Nov 21 26

In reflecting on the readings, it’s not hard to come up with an example of a point made or theoretical understanding developed in the assignments. You will be asked to periodically complete a short reaction to the weekly reading assignments in the form of a “media interpretation.” This means you should find a book, website, TV show or movie, song, news story, poem, piece of art, or some other form of media that you can interpret using the concepts developed in the reading. This reaction should include a summary/outline of the main theme(s) of the reading and the media interpretation written as a brief, but concise (at least 500 words) paper handed in as well as emailed to reymers@morrisville.edu. Students are required to submit four media interpretations in total, which should be spread throughout the course (a schedule will be created in the first week of the course). Students should be prepared to discuss their media interpretations in class.

Here's a brief example of what this assignment might look like (yours should be a bit longer):



Group Project - TBA

Group Project: 25% of course grade

The project component will involve the development of a “social movement” on campus. The project will be developed over several steps and should be related to the theoretical understanding of social movements discovered in your readings and class discussions. The report on your project will take the form of group oral presentations to the class at the end of the semester. More information will be given in class.

Group Project Part 1: Due Tues Sept 24 (5 points)

Decide as a group on a potential protest movement that could happen on campus. Use these guidelines to . Each individual in the group should write a brief report (at least 250 words) that describes what type of protest movement you came up with. Use the following questions to guide your reflection.

1) What needs to be changed at Morrisville or elsewhere in our society -- both macro issues (climate change, voting rights, health care, etc.) and micro issues (parking on campus, food availability, WiFi service, etc.) are acceptable.

2) How is this problem related to the social structure? (Speak to the "E-P-C" dynamic -- what social institution does the problem relate to? Is the issue primarily an Economic problem, a Political problem, and/or a Cultural problem?)

3) What individuals and groups are most likely affected by this issue? What particular populations are "aggrieved" (upset) by the problem?

4) What do you foresee can be done about the issue?

5) What is the time frame of the problem? Has this been an ongoing issue or is it temporary (on again, off again)?

6) Can you identify the type of movement (alterative, redemptive, reformative, or revolutionary) that might arise to address the issue?

Group Project Part 2: Activist biography report (10 points) - due Thurs Nov 14

Each group will choose an activist and social movement they would like to learn more about.

Go to Google, type “activist biographies” into the search box and click Search. Choose and click on one of the 50 social movement activists whose pictures pop up below the search box. Then use the sources that are available to create a group report describing in some detail characteristics about the activist. Here are some questions to prompt your thinking (but do not limit yourselves to these questions alone):

- Who is the activist in question? Give life details (birth and–where applicable—death dates, early influences, schooling, occupation, etc.)
- What social movement organization/industry is/was the activist involved in?
- What social problem/issue was the activist/movement addressing?
- What prompted the individual to become an activist?
- Where did activism take place?
- What type of leadership role did the activist take in the social movement?
- What risks did the activist take in joining/leading the movement?
- (How) Did the social movement change society?

With your answers to these and other questions about the activist, produce a group report of no less length than 1500 words (appx. 6 pages) that provides an accurate biography of the activist that you chose and a clear and vivid description of the social movement with which the activist was/is involved. ADDITIONALLY, be sure that the project report explicitly connects the activist and movement to one or more of the following sociological theories related to social movements: resource mobilization theory, network/identity theory, political process theory, or framing theory.

Recommended Workflow Strategy:
Break the project down into several parts, depending on the number of people in your group. Have each person write one aspect of the report – activist biography, description of social movement organization they are affiliated with, the connection to social movements theory, etc. Then bring the separate parts together and, together, decide on the best way to organize and present the information in your report. There will be an opportunity for peer evaluation of the report later in the semester.

Group Project Part 2 report is due Thursday November 14 in class

Group Project Part 3: Activist biography presentation (10 points)

Develop a presentation for the class to be delivered in the last two weeks of the semester that should essentially cover the main points and ideas made in the report produced for part 2. You MUST use some form of visual information display (Powerpoint, Prezi, poster board, class handouts, etc.) -- be creative to earn maximum points. Dates for each groups’ presentation will be given later in the semester during class. A rubric for how I will grade the presentations can be found on the course website.