sociology questions 16

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Answer all of the following questions. The length should be approximately ¾ to 1 page per question, so be sure to organize and edit your answers—I find that it is easier to write long, rambling answers than organized cohesive responses.”

  • Summarize the acquisition of the self as described by George Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley. Be complete in this answer and define the terms: “looking glass self,” and generalized other. (b) What is the relationship between language acquisition and the looking glass self? (c) Does the social self develop if the capacity to develop and use language is not acquired?Explain your answer. (3.5 points)
  • Define ethnocentrism and discuss the reasons for its existence. What are some of the consequences of ethnocentrism, both negative and positive (there are some)? Using an example of a behavior that is accepted in another culture but would be questioned in American society, describe how you could use cultural relativism and come to understand this different behavior. Then, switch sides and apply cultural relativism. Using the same example, how would you react to this same behavior? (Examples: burial practices, marriage customs, children working, table manners, caring for the elderly.) (2.5 points)
  • “I Learn America” is a video that describes the challenges of learning and adapting to a new culture for several students from different countries.Using this video describe the challenges faced by two of the students and discuss how they “learned” American culture. If you are an international student, you can take a slightly different approach to this question.What were the customs and practices in the United States that were different from those in your own culture?In a sense as an international student you have a foot in two cultures.Howdo you balance your traditions against the expectations of culture in the United States?(5 points)
  • (a)In the chapter we read from Goffman’s book, he uses several terms: Front stage and back stage are key to understanding our behavior in different situations. (b)Carefully define each of these terms. (c) Then give an example of a time when you were performing on a front stage and contrast that with a back-stage performance. For your example develop a “script” that specifies the props you would use such as those related to your appearance; demeanor and body language; vocabulary and speaking style. Be specific on this question! Some ideas for scripts: first date scripts (compared with hanging out with a longtime girlfriend or boyfriend); going to Thanksgiving dinner at your significant other’s parents’ home; interviewing for a job; attending a bachelor or bachelorette party versus behavior at the wedding and reception (this may be a specifically American custom, but I am not sure!); attending a church service versus going to a football game. Feel free to choose your own examples but be sure to contrast the expected behaviors. (4 points)
  • A culture never stands still; both non-material and material elements of a culture change. Technology affects our interactions with one another and the norms that govern behavior. In the class, we have discussed this topic in terms of how we assess other individuals through body language, eye contact, and appearance using Goffman’s work. But Goffman studied interaction before the advent of technologies including cell phones, e-mail, and other social media. Describe how these technologies have changed the ways in which we interact with others. Using specific examples, what is lost and what is gained when we interact indirectly using technology?What are the informal rules that govern interaction through these media? Are these rules different than the rules that govern person-to-person interaction?If so, how?(5 points)
  • (a) Define social class. How is social class different for the other systems of stratification such as slavery and caste? (b)There are three sociological perspectives on stratification. Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory (Marx and Engels); and Max Weber’s three-part theory that looked at power differentials in relationships. Briefly summarize each of these theories. Then, indicate which of these theories comes closest to your own view of why poverty persists. (5 points)
  • One of the articles assigned during the semester was by Schaefer, Edin, and Talbert, “Understanding the Dynamics of $2 a day Poverty in the United States.” This article focuses on one example of a single mother.Briefly summarize the article and the barriers that confront Monique as she struggles to take care of herself and her children.Clearly her situation is both personal (in terms of her education decisions and choices that she made) and structural (in terms of policies put in place to reform welfare policy that affected women and children).Using Mills’ “Sociological Imagination, “analyze the challenges that Monique faces and present your ideas about how she could be helped to move out of poverty.(5 points)
  • Doing Sociology. This exercise gives you an opportunity to compare how different types of markers give us information about social class. But we also see social class in our interactions in different settings. This “mini-project” may reveal class in a different way.l. For this mini-project, you are to examine the ways in which class is made visible in the everyday experience of shopping or eating out. Option 1: (1) Visit a large shopping mall and select different stores within the mall that sell clothing or other merchandise. Observe the ways in which merchandise is displayed—behind glass cases or on counters with sensors attached; see how visible the prices of the items sold are; look at the layout of the store itself; observe the attitudes and self-presentation of the sales staff; look at the prices on the merchandise; observe what kinds of customers are shopping. Based on this information, can you determine the shoppers’ their “social class”? Though there is no sign, for example, “American Express cardholders only” displayed in the stores, these clues reveal what kind of customer is welcome.Next compare a store that caters to less affluent customers.What are the differences between the two stores?What did you learn about how we perform and display social class?Option 2: Like the first option, visit two grocery stores making the same kind of observations—this time focusing on the quality and variety of foods, prices, store layout, assistance given to customers, and so on.(Sometimes the cars in the parking lot suggest the status of the customer base! Option 3: A somewhat less time intensive approach to this is a comparison of restaurants.Select 3 restaurants/eating places—ranging from casual to upscale. Describe the setting (tables and the way in which they are placed and table settings), the wait staff, the experience customers of customers coming into the setting, and the ways in which customers present themselves. Describe the customer/wait staff interactions. Describer how food is presented.Clearly as customers we select places to eat based on convenience, price, and sometimes even food choices and their tolerance for small children.What do you expect when you enter these different types of restaurants? (5 points)
  • Doing Sociology . We have become highly dependent on our phones, computers, and other technology.For this question, try to imagine how not having these technologies would affect your daily life.For example, how would your social life change if you had no cell phone or instant messaging? Take this a step further: Turn off your cell phone (the assumption is that EVERYONE has a cell phone!) for a day and keep track of how you felt as you went about your day. Try to compare how much time you would spend on your phone during a “phone day” with hoe much time you think you spend on the phone when you are “disconnected.” NOTE THAT THIS REQUIRES ONLY THAT YOU TURN OFFYOUR PHONE—YOU CAN USE YOUR COMPUTER TO CHECK ON ASSIGNMENTS AND DO HOMEWORK, ETC.How did you feel without the constant contact enabled by technologies like your phone? If for some reason, you can’t do this for a whole day try a half day. (5 points)

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