Compare and contrast the functionalist, conflict, and interactionist theoretical approaches to the study of society. How does each approach view society, the individual, social order, and social change? Your textbook analyzes sports in terms of various perspectives. Using the analysis of sports as a model, analyze the role of television from the functional, conflict, and interactionist approaches.
Wright Mills invented the term sociological imagination. In your own words, what is the sociological imagination? Select an article from a news magazine (such as Time or Newsweek) that describes conflicts and the changes that are taking place in a community. Describe these conflicts and changes. How can the sociological imagination help us to understand them? Be sure to provide your mentor with full bibliographic information for the article you have chosen so that she or he can locate and read the article.
Describe the sociological concept of deviance. Briefly explain each of the approaches to explaining deviance (functionalist perspective, interactionist perspective, conflict perspective), telling which is most convincing to you and why. Provide examples from your own experience as appropriate.
Analyzing your own life, discuss your status in terms of ascribed status, achieved status, and master status. For each of these statuses, discuss the roles that you play. Give one example of role strain and role conflict from your own experience. Thinking about the future, which role do you think will cause you the most difficulty in terms of role exit? Why?
For decades, the “American dream” was defined as continued upward social mobility (increases in income, wealth, education, etc.) from one generation to the next. Taking into account the financial crisis and recession of 2008, how has social mobility changed for American citizens? Finally, explain how social mobility today is different for ethnic minorities in comparison to the white majority. Use at least three major concepts from Chapter 8 to clarify your responses.
Consider the topic of global immigration that is presented in the boxed feature at the end of Chapter 10. Fully define and explain prejudice, discrimination, and racismand use these concepts to discuss the topic of global immigration. In your opinion, employing the sociological imagination, what is the significance of this topic?
Social promotion is the promoting of a student from one grade to the next even if he or she is failing courses. The rationale for social promotion is that moving students to the next grade prevents them from being stigmatized because they are older and bigger than other children in their classes. A number of cities have recently passed legislation banning the practice. In these cities, all students would be required to pass proficiency tests before they would be passed on to the next grade. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of this change? Do you agree with it? Why?
As our textbook discusses in several places, technology has altered many spheres of social life, including our economy, culture, and social interactions. Focusing specifically upon the technology of social media, how has such technology altered the way that we interact with and understand each other? For example, are our social relationships fundamentally different today because of social media? How has social media impacted the way that we present ourselves to each other? Please cite relevant concepts from our reading in your response.
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