Case Examples Based on Theory

In this assignment, you will apply sociological theory to a current or historical event or issue.

Choose a current or historical event (you may find this in a newspaper or news magazine story) or issue (homelessness, immigration, national security, poverty, education, women’s rights, racism, etc.) that can be meaningfully explored through the application of sociological theory and research. Once you have selected an event or issue, think about the theories that might apply to it. For example, you might consider some of the following:

symbolic interactionism
structural functionalism
conflict theory

You may choose one theory or several.

Once you have selected your event or issue and your theory or theories, write an introduction presenting the thesis of your paper. That is, briefly introduce your event or issue and tell how the theories help explain it.
Define your theories: Briefly discuss their origins and originator, if possible.
Give one or two examples of how theory can be applied to the event or issue. Does a theory help to explain why the event occurred or why the issue has gained prominence? Does a theory help to explain how to resolve a conflict that is occurring? Does a theory provide historical perspective on the event or issue? Explain your answers and support your opinions by citing passages in the course readings (or outside readings) that explain how the theories work and can be applied.
Write a conclusion predicting what will happen next based on the theories, or explaining how the theories account for what did happen next (for a historical event). If neither of these fits with your topic, write a conclusion that ties together the application of theory to the real world by discussing how the theories you chose might be used to understand other events or issues.

Your assignment should not exceed 5 pages, and should be double-spaced, with your name and the course section number in the page footer. A one-paragraph abstract should appear at the beginning of the paper that outlines its theme and major points.

Your paper will be graded based on both the extent to which it draws on theories and concepts discussed in the course and the extent to which it does so with clear writing and appropriate documentation

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