Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101-LN1 - Morrisville State College
Professor Kurt Reymer
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2PRs (Two-Page Reports)


Writing exercises on sociological topics will be assigned during the course. The assignment guidelines are designed to enhance research and writing skills and show your understanding of the themes of sociology that we are covering in the course. They will be graded on a 20-point basis. See the “Late Paper” policy section below regarding late submissions.


Two-Page Report #2: Connecting Status, Socialization, and Groups

Due Thursday March 31st (end of day)

In part two of the course, we are considering the social forces which shape the self. The perspective of social construction (introduced in Chapter 4) suggests that the social positions - or statuses - that we fill are a result of the social agreements we make which shape our world. Even statuses that seem perfectly natural, like son or daughter, are more than just biological relationships: they are the result of a long (usuallly life-long) period of socialization which convinces us that biological bonds are sacrosanct and that breaking those bonds is taboo. Additionally role conflicts (between two statuses) and role strains (within one status) might develop.

Speaking of socialization, we learned in Chapter 5 that we are socialized by particular people, groups, and institutions, which we called agents of socialization. Parents, peers, teachers, and the media are all responsible for delivering ideas that occupy our minds, ideas we copy into our actions and behaviors in our own unique ways. Without such socialization, in isolation from others, we can hardly develop into normal selves, demonstrating the importance of the social experience and symbol-use to self-development.

This importance of social experience is obvious when we look at the nature of the social groups we belong to, both primary and secondary. We are so closely connected, in fact, that there are only six degrees of separation between any two people within even a large society like America. We each have reference groups and role models that we relied upon in developing our skills, personalities, and identities.

The Paper: Review your previous paper to recall the connection between the norms, roles, and institutions that help to define your current identity. Identify the status that you discussed regarding the thing you love to do (singer, dancer, athlete, shopper, historian, etc.). Identify the role set (all of the expected behaviors) for this status. Identify the agents of socialization that prompted you to take on that status and taught you the role set. Are there role conflicts or strains in the performance of your role around this status? Then examine the social groups to which you belong that set the stage for your socialization experience (be sure to clearly define social groups before proceeding to avoid mistaking crowds or categories of people with groups). Note important reference groups and role models that shaped your status and identity.

Be sure to write using the language of sociology (refer to status, roles, socialization, nature and nurture, reference groups and role models, etc. in your writing).

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be no more than two pages in length (approximately 500-700 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). Include in your header for the paper your full name, class, date and professor's name. The header should take no more than 4 lines of space (do not double-space). Title your paper based on the main idea being communicated.

IMPORTANT: 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-2PR2, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading 2PR2.

Due Thursday March 31st (end of day)

GRADING RUBRIC:

I will be using the following rubric to grade your paper:
(A) Has the student been consistent in identifying an important status that centers on one's identity?
(B) Has the student provided a description of the role set for that status and observed any conflicts or strains?
(C) Has the student provided a clear example of agents of socialization?
(D) Has the student discussed reference groups and role models related to their identity?
(E) Has the student followed the submission guidelines, including paper format and deadline?


 

 


 

Two-Page Report #1: Connecting Norms, Roles, and Institutions using the S.O.C.I. Concept

Due Monday February 21st (end of day)

In part one of the course, we are learning 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. Abstract concepts are "large ideas" which can be narrowed more and more until you reach the level of real-life. For example, if we are talking about the institution of "Media," we could narrow that to social media, then again to a specific social media provider, like SnapChat, then again to the individual users of that network. Or we could narrow it to entertainment media, focus on streaming services, then examine how people are using them (creating new norms like "binging," and "chilling").

Or, when talking about the social institution 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) to professional golf.

An example in the institutions of American justice (as organized through government) 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 practices, chokeholds, or jail-cell "suicides." The institution of "Government" correlates ALL of these places, ideas, and behaviors.

So, as you write your paper, I want you to talk about institutions from the abstract Sociological Perspective using the sociological imagination, and you should connect it to the concrete personal perspective of your lived experience regarding the norms you follow and the roles you hjave played in your life.

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

For this Two-Page Report, recall both the S.O.C.I. mnemonic (see Powerpoint notes if needed) and the question I asked you in week 2 about your identity and who you are.

Using identity as a reference, advance your Self-teaching through analysis of the ideas, values, attitudes, opinions and norms that Occupy your mind (your “normative framework,” or ideas, etc. related to that thing) with respect to this thing and how you Copy those ideas in your own words and actions (your “role performances,” or behaviors related to that thing). Where and/or who did your ideas about the thing you love doing most come from?  What institutions are involved in the thing you love doing most? How does this thing you love doing most intersect with your Identity, that sense of wholeness in yourself? And finally, using your sociological imagination connect what you love doing most to the larger society – what institutions are necessary for that thing to exist and do communities develop around that thing?

Write using the language of sociology (refer to norms, roles, institutions, etc. in your writing).

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be no more than two pages in length (approximately 500-700 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). Include in your header for the paper your full name, class, date and professor's name. The header should take no more than 4 lines of space (do not double-space). Title your paper based on the main idea being communicated.

IMPORTANT: 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 2PR1.

Due Monday February 21st (end of day)


GRADING RUBRIC:

I will be using the following rubric to grade your paper:
(A) Has the student provided a clear, defined understanding of the language of sociology (terms like norms, roles, institutions)?
(B) Has the student provided a clear example of institutional influence on the individual?
(C) Has the student provided a clear example of independent behavior of the individual?
(D) Has the student discussed in the abstract the interconnections between self and society using the SOCI mnemonic?
(E) Has the student followed the submission guidelines, including paper format and deadline?


SAMPLE PAPER:
This is an example of a "C" paper. It's a bit too short, there are grammatical and spelling errors, and the author could stand
to discuss at greater length the link between their own life and the history of their society with respect to the institution of
sports.

____________________________________________

NAME  REMOVED                                                                                                      SOCI 101
2-Page Report #1: SOCI                                                                                 Professor Reymers

The very first thing I encountered during my two semesters taking sociology is the famous mnemonic known as S.O.C.I.

The mnemonic is a memory acronym in which each letter represents a significant aspect to society.The “S” in the acronym

stands for Self awareness that can only be achieved through deep self evaluation , self evaluation is a part of society because

it allows the members of society to become aware of their actions and its consequences . As an active member of society I use

self awareness to guide me through different social institutions such as school(Education)or the workplace(Economics).

 

I have many things in my life that I enjoy participating in , but one thing that I hold near and dear to my heart is my love for the

game of football. Unfortunately due to my lack of motivation for school during my freshman year I cannot play any sports until

my grades improve. This causes me to think about football every waking minute of the day and even when I go to sleep I still

dream about the game. This leads to the “O” within the acronym which accounts for the occupation of the ideas within the mind.

 

In order for these ideas to grow I relied on the social institution known as family . The “C” in the acronym means the copying in

your own words and actions of those actions ideas and values. Which means you must accept what society provides to you and

then you must apply it to your own life in order to find out where you belong in society

 

As a society we subconsciously created a set of unspoken rules or better known as social norms. These “rules” are what drives

and guides a society on a day-to-day basis, whether people choose to follow these “rules” helps them better find their identity. The

“I” in the acronym stands for your identity which is who you decide to be as a member of society . My identity as of right now is

a college student trying to prosper .  The institution of education is important to me and I know it weill let me do things that I couldn’t

do without it.