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Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101 - Morrisville State College
Professor Kurt Reymer
s

OPRs (One-Page Reports)

Important Note about the OPRs:
I orignally planned four OPRs for the semester but that was too many; instead I've changed to three OPRs, but in order to score a complete grade in this category, you only need to complete TWO of the three assignments. (If you did not do the first assignment, you must complete 2 and 3 in order to get a complete score in this category). The third OPR will drop in the last two weeks of class, just before Thanksgiving. If you complete all three assignments, your top two scores will be taken to assign the grade for this category.

OPR 3
OPR 2
OPR 1


One-Page Reports #3: From the Global to the Local

In this third and final part of the course, we look at society through the lens of macro-sociological phenomena: massive income and wealth inequality, growing world population, and global environmental calamity. These are issues that are well-beyond our own backyard -- or are they? Your task in this final one-page report is to choose one of those three macro-level issues and connect it to some social practice, norm, value, identity, and/or behavior that shows how this global issue is related to YOUR local backyard, to YOUR community, to YOUR life. This is the ultimate goal of using the sociological imagination: to make the connection between the public sphere and the private milieux of your everyday life, or the connection between history and biography.

Here are some videos that will help you to understand the issues at the global level:

3.1 - On Income and Wealth Inequality: Poverty in the USA
3.2 - On World Population: The Overpopulation Myth
3.3 - On Global Climate Change: Race to Save the Planet

Choose ONE of these issues to draw the connection between global issue and local trouble. Note: this is not an opinion paper! Use concrete examples from personal experience to describe the local level; use your accumulated knowledge from reading the textbook and doing the online media, as well as the videos above, to understand the global nature of the issue. Use demonstrated facts -- empirical information -- to analyze the connection between global and local.

Your paper should be one page in length (approximately 250-300 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response).

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the:
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-OPR3, then:
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading OPR3.

Due Tuesday November 24 (end of day)

RUBRIC:
You will be graded on three criteria:
(1) your ability to connect a global issue authentically to a local concern using empirical facts;
(2) demonstrated understanding of the sociological imagination, and
(3) your clarity and style of writing while using a sociological perspective.


 

One-Page Reports #2: Self, Groups, Conformity and Deviance

In part two of the course, we have delved into the process by which we, ourselves, are a product of our society (through processes such as group conformity), but we are also possessed of free-will to go against the social norms and mores that shape our social existence, thereby being deviant. This assignment asks you to discover acts of deviance in the news (or, as I like to call it, the "nightly deviance report").

STEP 1: Find a current article about a crime that has been committed within the past three weeks. Look for language within the article that lends itself to a sociological explanation of the deviant behavior using one or more of the theories of deviance. You should not Google “crime” or “deviance” to find a current events article related to crime and deviance; rather, check reputable online news sources or an actual article about a crime or deviant behavior. There are always major deviant acts each week that make the national and local news

Articles should be a minimum of 500 words, recent (within three weeks), relevant (related to crime, deviance, and social control), and from a reputable news source (check the library website for free access to national news sources, if needed).

STEP 2: Write a thorough summary of the article.

STEP 3: Using your sociological imagination, write an analysis of the article that connects the main idea(s) of the article to specific key terms and theories from this module on “Deviance, Crime and Social Control.”

STEP 4: Be sure you have Included a link to your article, check for any writing errors, and submit your response paper.

Your paper should be one page in length (approximately 250-300 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response).

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-OPR2, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading OPR2.

Due Friday October 23 (end of day)

Rubric

 

 

 


One-Page Reports #1: Distrust of Social Institutions

In part one of the course, we have learned what social institutions are -- the purposeful organization of people into groups and organizations. Universal types of social institutions (that exist in every society, whether small, remote and simple or large, global, and advanced) include Family, Religion, the Economy, Education, and Politics (remember "FREEP"). Other social institutions particularly relevant in American society today might be Sports, Media, Science, or Justice. Remember that "institutions", from a sociological perspective, are abstract concepts -- the term describes the totality of the concrete physical manifestations of them. So, when talking about social institutions of Sports, for example, we are talking about the totality of all the teams, types, and locations that integrate this meaningful construct into our lives -- from high school football, to professional tennis, from Yankee Stadium (baseball) to Mount Everest (mountain climbing). An example in the institutions of American Justice include the physical places (like courts, jails and prisons), the social statuses (like police or judge), and the behaviors, some of which are being debated today, such as stop-and-frisk, chokeholds, or jail-cell "suicides." The Institution of Justice correlates ALL of these places, ideas, and behaviors. So, as you write your paper, I want you to talk about institutions from the Sociological Perspective, not just the concrete perspective.

Here's your task for your first one-page report:

It has been said that many of our institutions in America (and globally) are failing today. They are failing because there is a growing lack of SOCIAL TRUST in how our institutions operate and/or the reasons for their existing.

For your paper, choose one social institution and find examples of distrust in the institution. In writing your paper, be sure to answer these questions:

Note: this is not an opinion paper! Using concrete examples from personal experience, from the news, from other's anecdotes (stories), or elsewhere, you should provide evidence for your claims and write in the "third person" (for example, "It's clear from this evidence that people are losing faith in our political leaders" rather than "I don't trust politicians.")

Your paper should be one page in length (approximately 250-300 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response).

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-OPR1, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading OPR1.

Due Friday September 11 (end of day)