Homework # 1: Why Politicized Science is Dangerous

Once you have read Appendix 1, "Why Politicized Science is Dangerous", by Michael Crichton (handed out in class), you will write a 1 - 2 paragraph summary that explains what you think Crichton is saying in his essay.  Also, be sure to say whether or not you agree and why you think this.

Homework #2: Status and Role Worksheet


Status and Role worksheet

Below you will find several concepts which sociologists use in trying to understand how humans interact with each other.  Come up with examples from your own life for each concept.  You will see some of my own examples to guide you. We will discuss what you have discovered about your own status sets and role sets next class.

 1. Status – a place that we occupy in society (Prof. Simpson – teacher)


2. Ascribed status – a status that is involuntary because one is either born with it or receives it involuntarily later on in life (Prof. Simpson – daughter, “30-something”, United States citizen)

______________                    ______________                    ______________                    ______________

3. Achieved status – a status that is gained voluntarily through some sort of effort (Prof. Simpson – professor, wife, volunteer, occasionally a traffic law violator)

______________                    ______________                    ______________                    ______________

4. Status set – ALL of the different places that we occupy in society (Prof. Simpson – wife, professor, daughter, citizen, neighbor, friend, volunteer, employee, etc.).  Name as many as you can.  If the status is ascribed, write an I (for involuntary) next to it. 

______________                    ______________                    ______________

______________                    ______________                    ______________

______________                    ______________                    ______________

______________                    ______________                    ______________

______________                    ______________                    ______________

5. Role – one of the behaviors that is expected from a certain status (Prof. Simpson- professor - expected to spout loads of beneficial and extraordinarily interesting sociological information to her budding sociologist students). List one of your statuses and one of the behaviors associated with it.

________________ (status)


6. Role set – ALL of the behaviors that are expected from ONE status.  List a different status than the one in # 5 and list as many of the behaviors associated with it that you can.

(Prof. Simpson – citizen – vote in elections, pay taxes, support democracy, encourage others to vote, be open minded to new cultures, etc., etc., etc,

______________ (status)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________(role set)

7. Role conflict – conflict between behaviors expected of two or more different statuses (Prof. Simpson – Ph.D. student/wife – expected to live with husband at new job in Dallas but also expected to finish classes in Los Angeles).  Describe a role conflict in your own life.


8. Role strain – tension between two behaviors expected of one status. (Prof. Simpson – expected to introduce sociology in depth and detail but expected to do so in only 15 weeks). List role strain in your life.