Sociology Today

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Sociology Today Short Papers

Course Objective: To enable the student to define and apply basic sociological terms to their own world.

For units 1-3, a short “sociology today” application paper is required. The objective is to demonstrate knowledge of a sociological concept from that unit and relate it back to something you can cite in your social world. Each paper utilizes the same rubric, described below. For units 4 & 5, the sociology today papers are extra credit.


4 pts. Your summary and citation of your modern cultural application.

5 pts. Your summary and citation of a sociological concept from the appropriate unit.

5 pts. A clear link is explained of how your cultural application illustrates the sociological concept.

1 pt. Clear writing that is proofread.


Explanation of rubric

What is a modern cultural application? It is anything contemporary you can CITE in your social world. Examples I’ve graded include news articles (most frequent), TV shows, movies, commercials, advertisements, You Tube videos, video games, songs, poems, blogs, magazines, recipes, cartoons, etc.

What’s excluded from a modern cultural application? Your personal experience and anything that isn’t part of the modern world. Try to keep it within your lifetime. The only exception to this is if something that predates you played a big role in socializing you. For example, I adore classic rock, but was an infant for most of it. Nonetheless, I could cite Led Zeppelin’s lyrics because growing up with this music was part of my social world. If you’re a fan of the Civil War, Civil War music would not be accepted because it’s not modern. However, if you’re a fan of Civil War re-enactments, you could reference something (ie a blog, a script… something you can formally cite) since it is part of your modern world.

What is a sociological concept from the appropriate unit?

Make sure that you anchor your paper in a concept from the appropriate unit. Sociology Today #1 must be about a concept from unit 1, Sociology Today #2 from unit 2, etc. Define and cite the concept from the textbook for full credit.

Unit 1: Chapters 1-4 Unit 2: Chapters 5-8 Unit 3: Chapters 9-13 plus poverty & sexual orientation Unit 4: Chapters 14-19 Unit 5: Chapters 20-22

How should a cultural application illustrate the sociological concept?

Let’s say you select devaluation of things feminine (Chapter 11) as a sociological concept. You define and cite it both in-text and end-text. Let’s say you select the video game Grand Theft Auto V as your modern application. You summarize what is important for me to know about it (anticipate that your reader knows nothing about your cultural application). You cite it end-text and in-text. Your objective is to explain how your cultural application (Grand Theft Auto) illustrates the sociological concept (devaluation of things feminine). Don’t just tell me it does. Explain why for full credit.