WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT ONE: Soc. 120
1. Your paper should be no less than three typed double spaced pages long. The paper does not have to be typed, but it MUST be legible. I will reward hard work and sociology, so in general : the longer the paper the larger the number of points; and the more sociology in the paper, the larger the number of points. Your first page must have your name, title, subject , AND the TIME the class meets.
2. Write a research paper in which you try to “solve” a problem of deviance by recommending two changes in our approach to this form of deviance. You should begin by specifying and explaining the kind of deviance you are examining. This explanation of the origins of your form of deviance is the most important part of your paper, and should involve EVIDENCE (statistics, other studies, statements by prominent sociologists, criminologists, psychologists, etc.). This evidence should always be footnoted (i.e. you should provide the source of the evidence), though I do not care what style this foot noting takes.
3. You should also discuss whether there is any controversy about whether this activity is considered deviant (i.e. is there a debate about it). Do all groups in this society see it as deviant? How about other societies? Other periods of time? Please label this section so I can easily find it.
4. You must discuss what we know about the prevalence (amount of) this form of deviance. That is, you must discuss how this form of deviance is measured. Are there any debates about measurement? Please label this section as well.
5. Sociological Concept: How does a sociological approach to this form of deviance relate to common sense or legal approaches? That is, is the sociological approach more or less critical of this issue? In the process of this discussion you must cite and discuss at least one sociological analysis of this deviance (e.g. functionalism, conflict theory, interactional sociology, structural strain theory, cultural transmission, labeling theory, behaviorism, etc.) or theorist (e.g. Marx, Durkheim, or Weber). . Once more, please label.
6. What do you think should be done about this form of deviance (TWO or THREE PROPOSALS)? Your proposals should reflect your knowledge of sociology, and NOT merely things you have heard in the mass media or believed previous to taking this class. This is not an opinion essay, but an attempt to use your knowledge of sociology to analyze this form of deviance.
7. You need to discuss whether your proposals are practical. They do not have to be practical, but you must admit this fact, and discuss the circumstances which would make them practical. Again, label this section.
8. Library Assignment: You must create an annotated bibliography with the following information:
A. Three books you have gotten from the computer catalog. Each citation should include the following information:
1. Standard bibliographical references (author, date, title place of publication, publisher)
2. a brief description of contents (from the most detailed”window”).
4. bibliographical source (i.e. which on line card catalog if there is more than one at
the library you are using)
5. call number
B. You must also find two journal references related to deviance from one of the on-line data bases in the library (EBSCO, INFOTRAC, PROQUEST, etc.)
C. Finally, you must also find two references from either SocINDEX or Sociological Abstracts related to your topic.
All of the journal references (data bases AND Sociological Abstracts) must be no more than ten years old. That is, the oldest reference is to be no older than January 2000.
In place of writing this bibliography yourself you may choose to print out a hard copy (if resources are available) of this information and attach it to your paper.
Remember, if you fail to provide any of the above material you will receive fewer extra credit points for your assignment. .
It is easy to receive a base of three extra-credit points if you do what I have asked, and write at least three pages. For points above these base 3, I will be looking at the following factors.
1. The length of the paper. In general, the longer the paper the better (within limits). Do not, however, just pad the paper.
2.The quality of the evidence presented. I am concerned that the evidence comes from high quality sources, and that it is reasonably recent (depending on the topic). In general, the highest quality sources are (in order of importance):
1. scientific journals—particularly sociological journals;
2. responsible news magazines and newspapers (e.g. Time, Newsweek, New York Times,
L.A. Times, etc.);
3. major political journals (National Review, Nation, etc.);
4. the tabloids (National Inquirer, People magazine, Oprah, MSNBC, Fox News, etc.).
3. The relationship between evidence and proposals. The evidence presented should support the proposals made. There should be, therefore, no sweeping claims on the basis of limited evidence.
4. The logical organization of the paper. The discussion should be logical and well thought out. The proposals should be laid out so that a convincing case is made that they are based in evidence.
5. Coherence of the paper: the discussion should hang together as a whole. Make sure your discussion is not disjointed or your proposals poorly integrated.
6. Bibliography. I will check the bibliography to see if it would provide a good basis for the paper (Are the references current? Are at least some of the books sociology? criminology? Do the books relate to the subject of the paper? Etc.)
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