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Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to recognize sociological concepts at play in your lived experience.   Keeping a field log of your social and institutional experiences for one day, you will critically discuss how your daily life is shaped and constrained by society. This will allow you engage with many of the sociological concepts learned in class.

Writing expectations

The paper should be 4-6 typed pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, with 1″ margins.  Remember to use APA format to cite and reference your sources.

A presentation that offers additional assistance in completing the assignment is available at https://prezi.com/view/DTakPcZ9NlkobNn93EMi/

Instructions

1) Observation 

Create a field log (example).  For one day, observe and record the key interactions and institutions in your lived experience.   Starting with waking up, who is the first person you talk to?  What do you do next- take family members to school, go to the gym, go to work and interact with coworkers?  Throughout the day you will take on different roles by interacting with different people and in different situations, and be in contact with different social institutions (education, government, health, etc). Type or photograph your field log and submit it with your written Assignment.

2) Application 

Try to wait one or more days before starting this step.  Revisit your field log and apply sociological analysis to your observations.

  • Describe how our day is shaped and constrained by social norms. 
  • Analyze how at least four sociological concepts learned in class (eg. roles, institutions, interactions, impression management, stage theory, emotional labor) apply to your field log observations.  This part of the paper should not be focused on the general social norms you described earlier, dig in with specific concepts in this from our text (refrain from using dictionaries).
  • For at least two of the concepts, find and incorporate an appropriate source that highlights how sociologists study this concept in everyday society (for example, emotional labor in the restaurant industry).  Not sure what constitutes an appropriate source?  See our Announcement on this in the classroom- tips and a learning module are provided there.  For example, we discussed gender socialization:
    • In an article by Crespi (2011) that studied gender socialization and gender roles within the family, results showed that a cross-gender relationship between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons has emerged as significant in determining traditional and non-traditional gender attitudes. The research suggested that the relationship with the parent of the opposite sex could be a strong factor in reducing stereotyped attitudes regarding gender roles (Crespi, 2011). *Use a different example in your paper, the purpose here is to show your research skills rather than repeat my research skills.*

3)      Reflection

Reflect on your role as a larger part of society (i.e. your motives, instincts, feelings, and/or structural constraints).  Discuss ways other people affected you and the ways you affected others in the social experiences of your day.

Sample Field Log

Below is a brief field log to give you an idea of the social interactions and institutions you might look for in your day.  With the observations are sample course concepts that relate to the observations.  Be creative in exploring and applying concepts- we will all apply concepts differently even if the scenes we observe are very similar.

5:45am: Wake up, interact with children.

Gender roles, nuclear family, folkways

6:30am: Interact with spouse and children.  Eat breakfast, run, shower.

8:00am: Arrive at airport, check in interaction with airline customer service; interaction with TSA.

Social structure, bureaucracy, norms, mores, social control

9:00am: Wait with other passengers to board flight; purchase a drink at coffee shop; employees have a tip jar; a family sitting close by is watching the news and commenting on what they think is wrong with other cultures.

Emotional labor, ethnocentrism, Piaget’s stages of development

9:30am: On flight with family having a difficult time with small children; flight attendant offers to help them. 

Emotional labor, gender roles, family

12pm: Arrive at destination airport; drive two hours to see extended family.  Along the road there are farmers with fruit stands.  See homeless person asking for assistance in exchange for work. 

Poverty, inequality

4pm: Extended family arrives for potluck dinner; look at family photos together and share family memories.  Watch evening news-  local robbery and assault.

Social deviance, material culture

6pm: Stop at church to meet family friend, see a bible study group inside; lots of religious symbols; someone remarks on a new church being built to accommodate a different racial group.

Religion, race, monotheism

This course has “Resubmission” status enabled to help you if you realize you submitted an incorrect or blank file, or if you need to submit multiple documents as part of your Assignment.  Resubmission of an Assignment after it is graded, to attempt a better grade, is not permitted.

Assignment 3 meets the following course objectives:

  • Apply a sociological perspective to the social world.
  • Analyze contemporary social issues using the sociological imagination and use sociological theories and concepts to analyze everyday life.
  • Recognize and define social structure and social interaction
  • Explain the reciprocal relationship in the influence between societal and structural factors, individual behavior and the self’s development

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