By now, you should have a firm understanding of the material presented in the textbook. Write a 4-6 page analysis on the topic of social stratification that is found in a newspaper or magazine, and make sure the paper meets all of the criteria stated on this document. This paper must be typed and submitted on Blackboard.
Find a recent newspaper or magazine article that illustrates an event or situation relating to social stratification that has occurred in the U.S. within the last couple of years (2017- 2020). The article must be from a major source, such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, among others. The article can be found online or in print. Choose an article that focuses on groups of people in conflict with one another as a result of the inequality in the U.S. class system. You may want to run the article by me first before proceeding with this assignment. The objective of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply sociological perspectives of social stratification to real-world situations.
I. Background (1-2 pages):
a. Briefly describe the social stratification or situation presented in the article.
i. What is the event?
ii. Who was involved?
iii. Where did the event occur?
iv. When did the event happen?
v. What data or statistics help to describe the situation?
b. When you describe the situation, do not plagiarize – describe in your own words!
c. Make sure you include a well-developed thesis statement which informs the reader in one sentence what your paper is about. The thesis should be placed at the end of the Background section.
II. Assessment (2-4 pages): This is the core of your paper. Make sure this section is very well-developed, well-organized, and well-written since your grade depends mainly on your sociological analysis of the article.
a. Discuss why the social stratification or situation occurred by relating it to four sociological concepts/theories learned from any of the chapters in the textbook. Remember that you do not need to explain the theories/concepts. You will be graded by how you apply the theories/concepts to the article you have selected.
Concepts/theories must be bolded or underlined in your paper, or they will not be counted in the quota.
b. Discuss how the reality is presented by the author/reporter/media. Are there any unwritten cultural assumptions? Do those assumptions reflect ideologies? Do the ideologies support the status quo? What kind of status quo? Are there any biases in the media presentation? If so, what kind of biases? Try to read between the lines. Cultural assumptions are not written.
Important: you are asked to analyze both the content of the article of your selection as well as how it is presented. Presentation usually reflects ideology and subtly power relations.
c. Include an engaging and stimulating conclusion paragraph that summarizes your paper. Demonstrate evidence that you can make connections between all of the main ideas.
Make sure to include the URL of the article in your list of “Works Cited.”
The paper should be logically organized in well-constructed paragraphs/sentences, have relevant content, and be easily understood. There should be few or no errors in format, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. These errors should not hinder comprehension of your writing.
In accordance with the Montgomery College Code of Conduct, there is ZERO tolerance for plagiarism, so always cite the original source if you are “borrowing” information. If you are citing sources, there must always be in-text citations and a list of “References” in APA style. Sources must be in alphabetical order in the list of “References.” For assistance on APA style, refer to these websites:
If you are unsure of when to cite sources, refer to this website:
Here are some general notes concerning the final written assignment.
1. Regarding format: I am flexible with format options as long as you are consistent. However, here are some preferred options that may help.
• Font size: 11 or 12 point
• Font type: Times New Roman, Times, Arial, or Calibri
• Line spacing: 1.5 or 2
• Document type: Please use Microsoft Word. This creates the fewest problems when uploading your assignment
• Heading: In the upper right-hand corner you only need to put your name, Sociology 100, and Final Written Assignment. Nothing else is required. You do not need a formal title.
• Citation format: APA is preferred. Your paper will only need 2 citations – the textbook and the article that you have selected.
2. Regarding organization: I highly recommend organizing your paper using the assignment guidelines. For example, using subheadings that reflect the guidelines is a great way to keep things organized and to help ensure that you attend to all of the requirements. For example, using subheadings “Background” (which would include the summary and your thesis statement), “Assessment” (which would include your use of the 4 concepts/theories, “Cultural Assumptions,” “Conclusion,” and “Works Cited.” This is just an example and you may choose to decide to break up your subheadings even further.
3. Regarding the “Assessment” section: Keep in mind that this is the bulk of your paper. The goal of this section is to help your audience understand the article through a sociological perspective. You may use any theories AND/OR concepts that you read about in your textbook. Make sure you choose appropriately. For example, if your article is looking at inequality in the workforce (depending on the specific subject of the article) you may choose to use social conflict paradigm (p.22), reserve army of labor (p. 420), capitalism and the service economy (p. 425), and life chances (p. 172). As part of the requirements, make sure that you bold the concepts/theories you are using in the body of the paper.
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