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Student Learning Outcomes

Analyze a social problem through three sociological lenses:

  • the sociological imagination
  • the intersectional lens
  • social constructionism

Assignment Instructions

This essay will ask you to apply key sociological concepts to a social problem of your choice. Chose a topic you are curious or passionate about. Possible topics include but are not limited to immigration topics,  gender/race/class dynamics in the beauty or sports industries, racial profiling, criminalizing houselessness, drug use, or sex work; fake news; the list goes on.  Narrowing your topic will help allow you to achieve greater depth, so consider honing in on a specific aspect of any of these topics or another of your choice.

Here are the instructions for the assignment. Follow them carefully and cover each requirement to the best of your ability.

  1. Briefly describe your social issue/problem (no need to do extensive research–just lay down a few facts from the textbook (and optionally up to one outside source–but be sure to provide full citation information IF you any outside sources). This section will be brief.
  2. Analyze it using all three of the following analytical frames. This section will comprise the vast bulk of your essay.
    • the sociological imagination
    • the intersectional lens
    • social constructionism
  3. Questions to address:
    • In what ways does each analytical lens help you understand the issue with greater clarity and complexity?
    • What social change do you think is indicated  after analyzing this social issue sociologically?
  4. NOTE: The analysis must refer to ALL FOUR of the following readings:

Other Requirements

UPLOAD YOUR ESSAY In the following format by Saturday, Oct 19 at 11:59m:

  • 1000 words in length, minimum.
  • edited and revised for clarity, conciseness, organization, and rigor in responding directly to the prompt.
  • written and edited to avoid plagiarism:
  • deeply engaged with the texts and other course sources. The essay must engage with and cite:
  • all four required course readings listed/linked above.
  • at least one other course source—film,  peer discussion,  or instructor comment from Section I of the course
  • This assignment is geared toward assessing the degree to which you have mastered course sources. I highly recommend focusing on in-class sources. No need to use outside sources here. Dong so will take up precious time you need for synthesis and analysis of our course texts (linked above). You may cite up to one outside source by way of introducing your topic, if it is not mentioned in course readings. Outside sources need a full citation either intertextually or on a reference(s) page.
  • Your references to these sources should involve in-depth engagement and show a comprehensive grasp of them. Try to go beyond in-passing mentions that do not delve beneath the surface, and instead dig deeply into sources.
  • Please BOLD *and* NUMBER all citations to make them easy for your instructor to find while reviewing hundreds of papers this  week (R1 through R4 (for readings]), L1+ (for lecture), F1+ (for film), and D1+ (for discussions/activities). Points lay in the balance. Thank you!

III.   Other Key Information

  1. Straying from these instructions and minimum requirements could profoundly affect your grade or result in not passing the assignment.
  2. Starting early will give you time to develop your ideas and refine the writing, analysis, and presentation. I recommend starting now and revising drafts for optimal results. You may drop in to the Cabrillo Hub in Aptos for drop-in tutoring anytime. 

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