John Singer Sargent,
Man Reading

Writing Assignments
Sociology 1306 - Social Problems
Professor Larry Stern

You will complete five (5) writing assignments.The first two assignments - on "Political Ideology" and the "Sociological Analysis of Social Problems" - are required. You will then choose three assignments from the remaining six that are posted on the course calendar: these focus on (1) Prejudice and Discrimination, (2) Poverty, Wealth, Inequality and Life-Chances, (3) Crime & Deviance, (4) Sexuality and Gender Inequality, (5) Health Care, and (6) Political Partisanship, Social Responsibility & Social Policy. Each paper will require roughly two-to-three pages (750 words) and will be submitted in Canvas. These five assignments, combined, will count as 75% of your final g


 

 

Writing Assignment # 2 (Required)
The Sociological Analysis of Social Problems

(1) Using concrete examples from class notes and discussions, provide a sociologically-informed understanding of how some situations rather than others comes to be recognized as a social problem.

In your essay establish (a) the importance of both objective and subjective factors that operate in this process, (b) how and why a person’s social location in society – the statuses they occupy such as social class, race, ethnicity, sex, age, etc. – affects their definition of a situation as desirable or problematic and their ability to get others – such as citizens not affected by the problem and policy makers – to notice and respond to these concerns, and (c) how the mass media might play a part in this process (i.e., agenda setting; spin).