This Worksheet is designed to help you better understand the three sociological perspectives and social institutions, and to help you organize your thoughts for writing your Final Essay, due in Week 6. As you complete each section, keep in mind that you will be transferring and expanding upon this information in your Week 6 Final Essay assignment.
Compare and contrast each of the three major sociological perspectives (functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism) discussed in Unit 2 of the Interactive Units. Be sure to address the similarities and differences between each of the three perspectives.
Note: When looking for similarities, consider what matches in the perspectives, or theories. How are these things similar to each other? If you took notes while you were reading, you would be able to review those and look for paired concepts.
Select and state one social institution (education, family, or government, as discussed in Unit 2 of the Interactive Units) to analyze. Identify and discuss a social issue or problem related to the social institution.
Note: Pick a social institution that you would enjoy exploring and reflecting upon. For example, if you are a parent experiencing the challenges of raising a teen, you could write about the social institution of the family.
Write three small paragraphs (2-3 sentences each)—one for each sociological perspective—in which you describe your chosen social institution from the perspectives of functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism. For each paragraph, refer to at least one specific example from the Interactive Units or Required Resources to support your statements. In other words, support your ideas with evidence by connecting them to Interactive Unit content; the Resources; or something that you have read, heard, seen, or experienced. Cite your sources. Acceptable citations include “According to the Stanford Social Institutions website…”, “According to a January 5, 2015 article in the New York Times…”, and “According to Unit 2 in the Interactive Units…”
For more information on how to use evidence in an essay, please review the Walden Writing Center’s material on using evidence: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/evidence
Create a rough draft of an introduction and conclusion you might use in your Final Essay. State your thesis statement clearly in each and support that thesis with three main points. The introduction and conclusion should mirror each other but contain fresh language. In other words, the conclusion should not be a word-for-word restatement of the introduction or the thesis.