Reaction Paper 2

Question Description

Keep in mind that the purpose of these reaction papers is to help you relate Sociology to your own experiences, and to see how Sociology is part of our everyday lives. In this paper, we’ll explore how a sociological lens can help us better understand current events. We’re going to “take it up a notch” by adding a new challenge to this paper. In addition to exploring four key terms, you’ll also be asked to do two additional tasks– make a cross-cultural comparison, and propose how you might study the differences or similarities you’d expect to find. Keep reading for more details on how to accomplish this task!

Assignment: Read one of the following short articles. These articles are all semi-current events (within the last several years). As you’re reading, think about some topics we’ve discussed since the last paper: deviance and crime, social stratification, gender inequality, racial and ethnic inequalities… if you have been looking ahead in the book, you may also see connections to upcoming topics: political, economic and corporate power, education, the media, health and healthcare, etc. Choose one of the articles below and form your paper. Please put your name, and the name of the article you selected, on the top of your paper.

Step 1:

Do you see any connection with terms from class? For example, did race, class, gender, education level, prestige or status, occupation or wealth influence the outcome of these stories? Was the media coverage fair and accurate– did you notice any biases or examples of inequity in the way the story was reported? Do these stories represent deviance or are inequalities the norm for our society? These are only examples of how you can address this part of the reaction paper– but you should use four key terms to describe the story you’re reacting to.

Step 2:

You’re a sociologist now… you need to be able to do sociological research! While you won’t actually have to complete a research project for this paper, we’d like you to think about how you might do one. As a sociologist, you might want to understand more about the inequality that you wrote about. Use Chapter 2 to address this step. Your book says the first step of conducting scientific research is “identifying a problem or asking a general question, like ‘does violent TV lead to violent behavior?'” and then coming up with a plan to answer that question. Tell us what your research question is, and then tell us what method you will use to answer that question. Explain what this will look like… explain it in depth… make sure we can see that you understand the method you selected. BONUS: if you really excel and exceed our expectations in this step, we may award a few extra credit points!!! How might you do that? Pretend that you actually want to do this study, and you’re going to propose it as an independent research project. Be very specific with your research question and be very thorough in your plan of how to answer it!

To earn full points: These papers will be graded on content, clarity, and relevance to the course. This paper can be based on your opinion but they should provide some insight into something that you learned. (Thus, you should use key concepts from class to make your case—see below for more information.) You can agree or disagree with the topic– it is not your opinion, but how you back it up with sociological insight that will count for points. These papers will be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. font, 1” margins, and at least 3 (full) pages with a minimum of 800 words in length. It is not likely that you will need more than 4 pages to adequately answer this prompt, but these is no penalty to a paper that is “too long.” Papers that are not at least 800 words (not counting your name, the header, or the title of your paper) have an automatic deduction of 10 points, so please be sure to meet the length requirement. Please include FOUR key concepts from either the deviance and crime, stratification, gender inequality, racial and ethnic inequalities, political/economic/corporate power, education, media, health, or family lectures (or the corresponding text chapters), or a combination of any of these. Please include (and underline) the terms or concepts of your choice, provide a definition for the key words you use, and a clear example of how each applies. No additional references are necessary to complete this paper.

Equation for earning a perfect score: PLEASE REVIEW THE FEEDBACK YOU RECEIVED ON PAPER #1 BEFORE SUBMITTING PAPER #2. The formatting requirements are very similar, so you can be sure not to repeat any mistake!

Meet length requirement + well written (check spelling and grammar) + pick 4 key terms + states term (underlined), defines term (with correct definition), gives example of application of term (that fits the definition) and apply to article + provide and describe research question and research method = 100%

Articles to Choose From:


Sex/Gender/Sexual Orientation:





Reaction paper 1 instructions

Keep in mind that the purpose of these reaction papers is to help you relate Sociology to your own experiences, and to see how Sociology is part of our everyday lives. 

Assignment: Although we are only at the beginning of this class, think about what we’ve already discussed- things that have made you into the person that you’ve become. In addition to thinking about how social forces have shaped and influenced your life, we also want you to consider ways that sociology may be helpful to you in the future. That’s why this assignment has two parts, and it is completely acceptable to consider these two completely separate parts– you don’t need to try to make them flow together into one cohesive story. Some people may even choose to label them as “Part 1” and “Part 2” and that is perfectly acceptable also. 🙂

Instructions for Part 1:

Please tell us which career path you’re thinking of pursuing. It’s okay if it is still a little vauge at this point– the idea is to be as specific as you can, so just try to help us understand what you’re thinking you might like to do when you grow up. Next, take a look at ASA’s list of sections: to an external site.

Click on the title of two that look interesting to you, and read their short purpose statement (most are only a sentence or two long). Now, tell us which one you think would be most likely to actually help you in your career path and why do you think that (what did you learn from the purpose statement you just read)? This portion of your paper will probably be 1-2 paragraphs in length.

Instructions for Part 2:

For this part of the paper, we would like you to reflect on your own life experiences. You can disclose as much or as little about your personal life as you feel comfortable with, but feel free to let your experiences guide your reaction. You won’t be graded on your OPINION, but your ability to use sociology to explain the phenomenon that you chose to examine. Based on the topics we’ve covered, here are some guiding questions: Think about a time in your life that you can reflect back on. What social forces have shaped you into the person you’ve become? How do Society, Culture, Social Influences, or Socialization come into play? Have you experienced socialization? Have you helped to socialize someone else? These are only some examples to help you get started in addressing this topic. This portion of your paper will probably be 1 1/2 to 2 pages in length.

To earn full points:

  • These papers will be graded on content, clarity, and relevance to the course and your ability to apply course materials to the article you chose.
  • These papers will be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. font, and at least 2 (full) pages (this means at least 500 words), but it should not exceed 3 pages.
  • Please include FOUR key concepts from the lectures or chapters we have covered so far – any combination of this material is acceptable, but the key terms should be DIVERSE (for instance, you would not get credit for using “dyads” (a group of 2) as your first key term, and “triads” (a group of three) as your second key term). Those two terms are too similar to show a depth of understanding with a variety of terms!
  • Please include (and underline) the terms or concepts of your choice, a definition for the key words you use, and an example of how each applies. No references are necessary for this paper.

Tips for success (*HINT HINT*):

  • We are looking for QUALITY of your FOUR terms not QUANTITY of extra terms. Adding a million key terms in your paper will likely cause a deduction of points. Here’s a tip to help you–you should be able to use a term, and talk about that term in the 1 or 2 paragraphs that follows! (If we find that you have used more than four terms, we will based your grade on the FIRST four we see.)
  • Example of a sentence from a previous reaction paper: “I definitely agree that groups can affect our individual behaviors. A groupis a social unit with two or more people interacting. My family is a group, and my parents influence my behavior because I know there are rules that I have to follow at home.” 

    See how this example meets all the criteria of earning full points: “I definitely agree that groups can affect our individual behaviors. (Uses and underlines the key term of choice.) A group is a social unit with two or more people interacting. (Defines the key term of choice.) My family is a group, and my parents influence my behavior because I know there are rules that I have to follow at home. (Gives example of the key term of choice.)” This example would probably then go on to talk about some specific instances of how the group influences the behavior.
  • Please follow this format exactly— it is important so that we can tell that you know what you’re telling us!! Don’t worry about writing creatively, or trying to leave the reader (your instructional team) in suspense by being unclear! That’s not the goal of this paper. This paper is simply to demonstrate your UNDERSTANDING and APPLICATION of sociological terms! There is no limit on the number of “As” that we can award on this assignment– if you all follow this format and you all succeed in demonstrating your knowledge, you can ALL be very successful! We are hopeful that you’ll take this as a *HINT* and look at this page again before you submit to make sure you have followed all instructions and formatting requirements!!!!!
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