1. Select a newspaper article that discusses a current event in your community or somewhere else in the world and briefly address the following questions:
a.) How might the Sociological Imagination (C. Wright Mills) help you to understand this event in a more meaningful way?
b.) Select ONE major theorist/theory (Karl Marx and Social Conflict Theory OR Emile Durkheim and Structural Functionalism OR Max Weber and Symbolic Interactionism) – and suggest how they would explain this event. We are asking you to apply the theoretical framework of your chosen theorist to your newspaper article; suggest how they would explain/interpret/analyze this event as the basis of your analysis in the short paper.
*TIP*: Think of each of these separate theories as a microscope lens through which you are viewing your chosen topic (newspaper article); each theory would reveal something slightly different when applied to the same topic. First, be sure you understand your chosen theorist/theoretical perspective. Second, use your chosen theorist/theoretical perspective as your framework to analyze your newspaper article, being mindful of the specific elements of your newspaper article that your chosen theorist/theory would pick up on.
SOC*1100 Short Paper Assignment Guidelines
-APA or ASA CITATIONS ONLY. If you do not know how to do APA citations, you can search the library website for help, they have printouts available at the library as well, or you can print citation formatting instructions from university website. Please note the University has Writing Services available to students – an excellent resource worth checking out!
-12 pt, Times New Roman font only. No headlines or large text is to be used in your assignment.
-.PDF or .DOC files ONLY. Do not submit .pages files as these will not open in Courselink and cannot be marked.
-Short Papers must be double spaced.
-Short Papers are to be 2 pages double spaced – no more no less.
-citing your newspaper article as well as the course textbook and course content from courselink is necessary. you can cite in the following way:
In-Text citation: (Behnke-Cook 2019) or Behnke-Cook (2019)
Reference List: Behnke-Cook, Deanna. 2019. “Introduction to Sociology DE” at the. University of Guelph.
-Direct quotes are not required for short papers: we would prefer, however, that you paraphrase. You will not be penalized for not including quotes, but you will be penalized by improperly citing your work. We want to hear your interpretation of the material, by applying the sociological imagination and theorist’s perspective of your chosen newspaper article.
Educational funding in Ontario has been reduced significantly which has led to teachers being underpaid. These teachers often responded by offering their demands and If the demands are not met, they most likely result in strikes. In this article, the teachers’ union have decided to go on strike and close the schools in Ontario twice a week starting next week because of the pay decrease. However, if these demands are not met before this Friday , the plan to go on strike will proceed. If these teachers’ demands aren’t met many students will be affected since they will not be taught during those days. unions are only striking to get higher wages, and the job action will directly impact many students and parents in Ontario .
The term sociological imagination is looking at a social event from a different point of view and be able to understand how the event will have an impact on society . One can view the sociological imagination in their lives everyday from many large or small events that they see, so long as they have an open and creative mind when analyzing these events. Interpreting this event from a Sociological Imagination point of view, a few teachers being on strike would be a personal issue which would have a minimal affect on society but in this article,all teachers in elementary schools will be going on strike and this will lead to major societal impacts.When a teacher goes on strike, they do not perform their regular day jobs and protest instead. This will lead to many people in society being affected because these teachers aren’t performing their job and contributing to society. The teachers will affectpeople such as children and the parents of these children. The children rely on the teachers in order to educate them. If the teachers are not present, the students simply will not be educated. Parents will be affected because they may have jobs and simply won’t have the time to watch their kids and thismay lead to financial problems with the parents. The parents may have to pay somebody to watch their children or take time off, reducing the family income. Also, the economy may be impacted as well since many people in Ontario who work regular day jobs have children. If these people do not work, deadlines for many projects, materials and deliveries and many more will be impacted. These deadlines will be delayed even further, which all originates from the Ford Government reducing the educational budget. Upon viewing these series of events by implementing sociological imagination, this convinces me that the governments overall funding towards education; has a significant impact on the society in Ontario.
In todays world, Emile Durkheim would perceive a society to be a large system that is composed of social functions and social structures which work directly with each other in order to reach and maintain a stable society. From Durkheim’s structural-functional approach, the education system would be considered a complex system which is experiencing problems. Based off the assumptions of Durkheim, these problems are only temporary because many of the institutions that are in the system will work together in order to recover the balance that was initially present in the society. In this article, Durkheim would perceive the teachers’ union as well as the provincial government of Ontario to be institutions . The schools mainly operate to maintain the societies stability . However, the social function in this event; is the idea of the students from these schools that require a proper education from them in order to be active in a societal system . There are a few solutions that Durkheim would give to eliminate this conflict, but the main and most promising solution in order to recover this balance in the society would be the teachers’ union and the government of Ontario reaching an agreement. However, there are many assumptions to this theory which is the teachers as well as the institutions. The teachers who have been left unemployed by this event will impact or serve the society through another method rather than teaching. The sociological imagination will be used by the institutions, which will work with one another to settle these problems and recover what was lost in the society.
A Structural Functionalist Approach on the LGBTQ
University of Guelph
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Sexuality is all about the expression of thoughts and feeling towards other people. Societies expect the feelings and opinions to be between the opposite sex. They don’t embrace the interpretation of one’s sexuality towards the same sex. As a result, the LGBTQ community suffers rejection in society since they are not what society expects to be normal. Sexuality is diverse and personal, and it’s an essential aspect of a person’s personality. Hence, when one finds rejection among the people simply because that person is not what they define as a normal behavior, it becomes depressing. Society fails to identify that everybody in the community contributes to the functioning of society. So, the structural-functionalism perspective presents society as a complex system that has parts, that is, the social institution, whosecollaboration promotes commonality and stability. Therefore, society sees LGBTQ as a dysfunctional institution that cannot replace any other institution. Also, they fear the consequences of the change and don’t welcome any change.
Structural functionalism, also called functionalism, sees the society as a complex whole with connected parts that work together to meet the needs of individuals. Herbert Spenser, a British sociologist, compared it to the human body parts that work together to maintain the whole functioning of the body (Macionis & Gerber, 2017, p.17). For example, the government usually provides education for children, who then pay taxes and government benefits. So, the government and the community partner in ensuring children acquire and later benefit from learning. Robert Merton explained that society has both negative and positive functions (Macionis & Gerber, 2017, p.18). The adverse functions are all the things that don’t add to the society’s functionality. For example, society considers the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community as dysfunctional and wrong. They lack the appreciation they should get. Macionis & Gerber (2017, p.18) define social dysfunction as any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society as a whole. Society sees the LGBTQ community as disrupting the process of the social institution, especially the family in terms of marriage. Thus, social functionalism bases on stability and solidarity.
When the question of sexuality comes in, the functionalist stresses the importance of regulating sexual behavior. On the other hand, to ensure marital cohesion and stability of families, the functionalist considers the family as the primary social institution in society. They focus on maintaining and preserving the family’s beliefs and norms. The functionalist assumes the family is the social institution that can easily regulate sexual activity during young age and plays a significant role in society (Macionis & Gerber, 2017, p.17). The functionalist therefore encourages the heterosexual marriage and strongly supports marriage for procreation, and ensuring that the children are born out of a stable and legally recognized relationship. Thus, from their standpoint, homosexuality cannot substitute heterosexuality. When homosexuality occurs predominately in the community, it is a dysfunction to society. Society doesn’t account for the growing gay relationship or any other way of getting children, let say, through adoption. There are norms and beliefs that society holds. Functionalist emphasizes stability in society, and there is no room for change.
Functionalists believe that a stable society should only have positive functions. They advance that culture is a complex structure with social institutions that contribute to the positive functioning of society as a whole. The family, thus, emphasizes sexuality, and anything that’s not a heterogeneous family is a dysfunction and wrong in society. Consequently, society doesn’t accept the LGBTQ community despite the increasing rate and their positive function. To sum it up, according to the functionalists, society is stable, and there is no room for change.
Gerber, L. M., Macionis, J. J. (2018). Sociology (9th ed.) Ontario, Canada. Pearson Canada Inc.
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