Assignment: Social Forces Paper
Assignment: Social Forces Paper
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Our life chances are greatly influenced by social forces, and these social forces are sociology that is alive and working on our life prospects. You don’t get to choose to be a healthy baby. Did your mother take care of her own health? Were either of your parents smokers? How about the health of your grandparents? Their stressors? Were your family members obese, smokers, drinkers…? Were they healthy, well-educated, and affluent? Were they poor and largely uneducated? Did your parents raise you in a way that enhanced your brain development? The history that resulted in the creation of you isn’t just noise. All of these things and more matter to who you are likely to become.
This assignment will allow you the opportunity to examine our development and how we get to be who we are.
Your objectives for this assignment are to:
Write a 3000 word (+/- 10%) paper addressing the social forces that create a person. It is not a long paper, so it must be compact. Always keep to the point. Your summaries should be about 1000 words and please don’t spend more than 500 words on your own history. Here’s what you do:
You will research how the events of our formative years influence our later years.
1. In a-g, please listen to all of these links and read Poverty is Poison. Summarise and discuss the salient points of each of the following in your paper (just capture the essence of each).
a. The first three links address pre-birth (15% of grade):
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0137z06
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013q28r
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013f9d3
b. This next link addresses the effects of a particular kind of social force (5% of grade):
DoesPovertyChangeTheWayWeThink.mp3Click to view undefined
c. This next link addresses social class from early childhood and beyond (5% of grade):
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/364/Going-Big?bypass=true (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Listen to Prologue and Act One only.)
d. This article addresses the consequences of poverty (5% of grade): Poverty is Poison:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/opinion/18krugman.html?_r= (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.e. Listen to and summarise Hardwired: http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/545024014/hardwired (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
(10% of grade)
f. Listen to What Are Gender Barriers Made Of? (5% of grade). Here: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/gender-barriers/(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
g. Listen to The New Norm (start at 24 minutes in and focus only on what happened on the oil rig). (10% of grade). Here: http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/481887848/the-new-norm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Answer these questions:
What was the approach taken to working with the men on the oil rig?
What were the effects of “messing with the emotions of workers”?
At about 36 minutes in, the question was asked if men were being taught more female norms of interacting with each other. They took offense. Why?
2. After your summaries and discussion of the links above, now describe your own socialisation. Include how and whyyou were exposed to the rules of gender (10% of grade). Limit this to 500 words.
3. Next, collect empirical information about the socialisation of others by visiting anywhere you’re likely to come across multiple children interacting with their care-givers (this needs to be more than one. A sample of one is invalid). This activity must be conducted with the assignment in mind. (15% of grade). Answer these questions:
What do you see?
Does gender play any role?
Does social class play any role?
Are these children being raised in such a way that limits or enhances their freedom?
How can you tell?
4. Conclusion (20% of grade): In your conclusion, Explain the ramifications of the powerful social forces that shape us. Discuss the causes and consequences of stereotypes, including gender, and the consequences of successfully selling us a belief that we can be anything we like.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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