Sociology Paper Task5

It should run about 8-to-10 double-spaced pages in length (MAX).

You should include a works cited page. It can be included outside the page limit. Don’t forget to number your pages and post the paper up at bcourses.

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Your paper represents the culmination of your work all semester looking at topics in our field in relation to a specific social context that you have learned about first hand, and which you have been able to logically link to the development of specific forms of behavior, thinking or a sociologically significant identity.
In a well-documented, clearly organized paper of no more 8 to 10 double-spaced pages in length, draw on your semester-long observations and interviews about a specific venue of social interaction, socialization, or communication to shed light on how features of a specific and well defined social environment contribute to sociologically significant forms of behavior or identities among individuals who are exposed to the situation and to the interactions and symbolic communications that occur within it.
Your paper should clearly show how elements of your analysis are rooted in your observations, your interviews, and your interpretations of your data. The data should support your claims about site-specific social processes linked to socialization and the construction of identities, beliefs, and behaviors, as well as the communications, exchanges of meaning, interpretations, etc., that contribute to these effects.
Throughout your paper you also must show in appropriate ways how course readings (and sometimes course media and lectures) inspired your research, guided your data gathering and analysis, and assisted you in interpreting your observations about the development of identities or behaviors.
1. Make sure we understand the ways in which the identity you are writing about is sociologically significant! In what ways is having this identity sociologically consequential for a person – exposed to stereotypes or discrimination; enjoying specific advantages; qualifying a person for membership is a community; enabling a person to fulfill a defined social role. Look for ways your identity derives its sociologically significant character from some features of the dominant social order, “the system” as Zimbardo says, or an organizational structure of cial roles. How is this identity personally held but socially formed?

2. Be careful to appropriately HEDGE or qualify your claims about the development of an identity, behaviors or beliefs, as you take into account the limited time you have spent in the field, the limitations on the kind of data you have been able to gather, the size of your interview samples, and caution about the representativeness of your particular study site.

3. The work you have completed on Field Report 3 and Field Report 4 should have taken you to within striking distance of a final paper. You have your data, a thesis claim at some stage of completeness, and a grasp of the analytical writings in the field. These writings show us how you have studied the production of identities or behaviors or forms of thinking through individuals’ involvement in interactions in a specific social setting. Your Paper 2 ties all the strands of your work together.

4. USING READINGS: Your paper should show how you used SIX relevant course readings to define your topic, design the study, interpret data, and come to conclusions.

5. The readings you use should come equally from the beginning, middle, and end of the syllabus. You should refer to readings that describe in theoretical and conceptual terms socialization processes that through which individuals learn how to think and act toward themselves, others, and the social world. You should make also should make good use of readings based on empirical studies of processes of socialization and social influence, with nitty gritty details about actual social settings, their rules and ideologies, patterns of communication and interaction, and power structures, etc.

6. Show us how you used the ideas or findings from appropriate readings in each of the different sections of your paper. We would like to see that the different stages of your work developed in a conversation with the various authors we have worked with in the class. There should not simply be a section of your paper labeled “Literature” in which you cite a few authors and move on.


The model of a paper presentation below is not intended to be a formula for class members to follow. It describes the components of a paper that we will be looking for.

There are many ways to structure a paper and present an analysis with supporting data. Deciding how to present your work is part of learning to write in your own voice. Each student author will include some versions of these features in a paper with personal elaborations that reflect the experience of the author defining a project, conducting research in a specific study site, and formulating and supporting an analysis

The major features of the paper are a thesis statement, evidence, and a conclusion.

They can be lodged and developed in FIVE SECTIONS:

I. Introduction;

II. Study Design, Study Site and Procedures;

III. Findings;

IV. Discussion, Analysis, Interpretation; and

V. Conclusions.


Move from a general perspective on some issues concerning the influence of social settings and significant others on identities or patterns of thinking and behavior to a brief description of the specific case you are studying.

What is this paper about? What was the puzzle that motivated you to undertake the research?

Thesis statement: Social Setting/Context/Significant Others Self-Concept, Beliefs, Knowledge Sociologically Significant Identities/ Behaviors of Individuals and Groups

You may use the thesis statement you have been developing since FR 3.

Why is this topic interesting or important? To whom do you think it is interesting and important?

What is known or assumed about this topic in the following contexts:

scholarly findings,
“common sense,”
public opinion,
conventional wisdom

And among whom is this knowledge or are these assumptions found?

scholars; media; members of specific social groups; organizations and institutions; political leaders; corporate leaders in marketing, production and design?

Why are you addressing the topic now? (possible reasons, you may present your own)

• To take issue with what is “known or assumed’ about the topic;
• You have new information or analytical perspectives to apply to a familiar topic;
• You are excited by some observations and claims about the topic or by debates about the topic and want to test the accuracy or validity of some notions about ways features of social contexts influence the thinking, action and identities of individuals and groups in the social world;
• There is a hot debate about the topic and careful scrutiny of the issues is necessary;
• What is known or assumed about a given topic may not be pertinent to the experience of all groups in the society or in all societies.

It’s usually a good idea to revisit and finalize the intro AFTER writing the paper.

USE OF LITERATURES/READINGS IN THIS SECTION: Which readings helped define the shape of your thesis, importance of your topic and your approach to exploring the influence of social contexts and significant others on sociologically significant identities, action, and thinking among real individuals.

II. STUDY DESIGN AND PROCEDURES: What did you do in your study? Where did you conduct the study? (About 1 page)

Present hard, sociological information on the study site and significant actors who are the sources of influence over the thinking, action and identities or your study subjects.

What is the mission or purpose of this social setting and the forms of interaction you are studying? Who or what determines their structure or character – rules, law, custom? Is there a structure of authority? What kinds of experience do your study subjects have in the venue – sustained, fleeting, episodic, or intermittent? Is the study setting a grass roots association of actors or a component of a formal organization? Is it a business or a social setting? There may be other ways to characterize your site.

Why did you select this site? Why is it an appropriate venue for your topic?

What features of social structure or macro social conditions (race relations, gender dynamics, the class structure, political and policy debates, economic issues, etc.) are relevant to your topic and the study venue? How have they influenced the structure and content of action in your study setting?

Are there any sociologically significant characteristics age, gender, social class, race) of the actors in your study site are relevant to their experience there?

How did you gain access to your site or research subjects?

What difficulties did you have to overcome or what factors facilitated your access?

What did you do to gather data with interviews or from observations?

How did your observations and early discoveries affect your topic, project purposes, and research strategies? How did you shift the focus of your topic and how did it evolve through your experience on site?

LITERATURES/READINGS IN THIS SECTION: Which readings did you use to help design and carry out your observations? What did they encourage you to do or caution you to avoid doing in your research?


Present your field data factually and in strategic ways to illuminate the processes of socialization, social control, and social influence you have observed and the ways they have shaped or influenced the thinking, action and identity of your study subjects.

This is the largest section of the paper. Report on the events you observed and the interviews you conducted that show the features of the social setting in some analytical detail that affect identities and action.

Build your presentation around FIVE (more or less) illustrative incidents or interview items through which you make a case about features of the social setting or social world that influence (shape, cause, determine) the characteristics of your study subjects.

Organize the presentation of your data to carefully elaborate the major theme and sub-themes in your paper about how social settings influence identity and social behavior.

LITERATURE/READINGS: How do your findings resemble, differ from or otherwise relate to perspectives on education found in theory or scholarship covered in the course?


Discuss and interpret the meanings of your data and what they contribute to a sociologically informed understanding of specific social settings and patterns of social interaction and their effects on identities and action.

Select and present your data in ways that:

a) support, clinch, or illustrate an informed assertion about how social contexts and identities and behaviors are apparently linked to one another.

b) show us how you discovered and disentangled the issues and sociological factors at play in a particular incident, observation, conversation from your data.

How do the incidents you observed and report on and the interview material you cite shed light on processes of socialization and influence over behavior and thinking among individuals from particular populations?

How do your observations or interview data show that identities linked to specific social settings and specific kinds of settings are sociologically consequential?

Don’t just say “I saw X happen, and that shows how Factor A had Y effect on identity.” You need to make a logical case – an argument – why your interpretation of the features of the social setting and their effects should be persuasive to readers or observers interested in the emergence of social identities and particular forms of sociologically significant action.

LITERATURE /READINGS: What have other authors and “conventional wisdom” thought about events or educational situations like those you have experienced, reported, and analyzed?


The conclusion should mirror the introduction.

Tell us why this has been a worthwhile paper to write — summarize the main social factors that influence the identities or actions you studied.

Comment on positive ways, negative ways, or both, that social settings shape social action and identity based on your study?

Is this kind of influence praiseworthy or problematical? How should we regard the socialization dynamics that you have analyzed for us? Favorably? As problems? As something requiring careful attention or as nothing that we could do much about anyway?

Are your observations generalizable?

What do you think your discoveries and observations might mean for existing scholarship on socialization, social influence and the self?

You can also talk about your personal experiences with this project. What was difficult? What surprised you? What did you learn from the process of carrying out a field study socialization, identity development, and social action? How has this project showed you any benefits from thinking sociologically about socialization and identity?

What should future investigators of this topic learn from your study and experience in conducting this research? What should future investigators of contexts of identity and settings of social influence like your study site learn from your findings and research? What should future investigators identity and socialization among individuals like those you have studied learn from your work and experience?

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