As has been argued throughout the semester, sociology is a way of “seeing things;” a way of focusing on certain aspects of human conduct, taking into account a vast array of social factors and conditions, raising certain questions and then relying on the systematic application of scientific methods – not individual, personalized, impressionistic accounts – to thoroughly investigate a chosen phenomenon.
The central idea of this essay – it’s main purpose – is for you to convince me that, used as a guiding framework, the sociological perspective can help you think about and deepen your understanding of the social factors and processes that make up the social world so that you can make better sense of your daily life and interpret broader social issues that confront contemporary society.
This essay is comprised of two parts. In part 1, you will choose one of the theoretical perspectives that sociologists use (structural-functionalist, conflict, symbolic interactionist). After you (1) provide an outline of its main features, its guiding assumptions, and the questions it tends to raise, you will (2) demonstrate how it leads you to focus on aspects of the social world that you haven’t previously considered. In so doing, you will rely upon the assigned and recommended readings, film presentations, and class discussions. Next, you will (3) briefly discuss some of the insights that you have gained from applying the theoretical perspective you have chosen. Again, you will use specific examples.