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Observational Sociology (100 points)
Sociology is one of the unusual scientific disciplines where we experience relevant phenomena every moment of our lives. An important goal of this class is for you to become more accustomed to making effective and meaningful observations. Through these observations, we become more aware of their sociological significance. Motion pictures make up a significant part of our world, and this exercise allows you to demonstrate your observational techniques and sociological analysis. You are to choose any non-documentary motion picture and follow the instructions listed below. Keep in mind that all motion pictures are sociologically relevant, but for the purposes of this exercise, some may be more appropriate than others.
Section I: Introduction
Identify movie. Give a brief description of plot and describe main characters.
Section II: Analysis
Choose twenty concepts that are demonstrated in the movie. Define each concept in your own words. Provide a detailed explanation of how each concept is illustrated. Use this listing format:
1. concept: a-definition…
2. concept: a-definition…
20. concept a-definition
(For example: If you were to watch Disney’s classic film, Sleeping Beauty, a concept that can be observed is “ascribed status”. Definition: Ascribed status is a position that one occupies within the social structure that one has little or no control over, often assigned at birth. Illustration: The Prince was born into the royal family and had no control over which family he was born into.)
Section III: Reflection
Discuss the relevance of this exercise as it relates to “thinking sociologically”. Does the movie appear different when viewed this way? Discuss the most interesting thing you have learned this semester. (Minimum 250 words)
Paper should be double-spaced, 12 font. Length usually varies between 4 and 6 pages, but there is no specific requirement. Grading will be based on following above format, adequate description of plot and characters, the accuracy of definitions and illustrations, completeness of “Reflection” and correct sentence structure and grammar.
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