Illinois Institute of Technology Sociological Concepts Paper

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Illinois Institute of Technology Sociological Concepts Paper


Our Introduction to Sociology course focuses on concepts.2

Your assignment is to choose two sociological concepts we have discussed or read about in the course. The two concepts should seem related to you.3 Your job is to produce a short essay in which you A. Describe these two concepts in your own words, and B. Discuss their relationship.

Describing a concept in your own words does not mean that you make up a personal meaning for it. It also does not mean you rely completely on someone else’s definition. You must walk a middle path of synthesizing what you have learned about a concept in a way that allows you to put it in your own words, but in a way that is accurate to the concept’s sociological meaning.

Your analysis must rely on your own thinking, and must reflect a sociological perspective

You may, but are not required, to make use of scholarly sources in your paper. You are encouraged to do so, but you must do it properly: If you choose to cite external materials, you are strongly encouraged to consult with library staff to ensure that the sources from which you draw are reliable scholarly sources. Materials pulled from the internet rarely meet that standard, so be

1 Papers received after that time will be docked a full letter grade for each day, and no papers will be accepted more than 72 hours after the due -date and time.
2 Sociological concepts are abstractions which embody (and result from) analyses of how we live together (also known as ‘social life’), act together and/or come into conflict in groups, the conditions under which we do so, and how each of these changes over time and through processes of social interaction. Hence, institutional isomorphism, gender, proletariat, and social structure all stem from sociological observation and reflect a theory of some type. Many sociological concepts overlap with ones we also commonly use in public life as well, and often appear in the mass media, such as racism, self-fulfilling prophesy, or globalization. (Many other concepts sociologists use differ markedly from the parallel terms found in everyday life: sex worker vs. “prostitute” or deviant vs. “criminal”.)

3 If you wish, one of the two concepts you choose can be of the type that is also used in the mass media (discussed in footnote #1).



careful. Further, if you rely upon external sources, your paper must include a bibliography which should not be included in your word count. Misused or non-scholarly sources will countagainst your grade.

How you will be graded/what I expect

There is no one ‘right’ way to do this paper. You have a lot of leeway to choose concepts you will discuss, but you should definitely stick to concepts that you find personally interesting. I will be looking for you to display a strong grasp of their meaning and relevance. In your discussion, I will be paying attention to the thought you put into arguing the relationship between these concepts, the clarity with which you do so, and the sophistication of your analysis. Lastly, I am looking for you to seriously and honestly challenge yourself in both your choice of concepts and your engagement with them.

Here is a grading rubric:

  1. Does the paper adhere to the IIT, Department of Social Sciences, and Course guidelines on Academic Honesty in every way? Is the paper original to this course and this student?Yes? Proceed to criteria # 2 No? STOP. Paper receives an E.
  2. Are both concepts sociological? Were they also discussed in class or in class reading? No? 50% reduction in all possible points per missing sociological concept.
    Yes? Up to 38 points, consisting of:
    • – Rigor and clarity of your explanation of each concept in your own words:10 points per concept
    • – Successful synthesis of concepts from sources, (be they class discussion, the textbook, and/or outside sources), in your own words: 9 points per concept
  3. Are the concepts challenging to engage? Up to 16 points
  4. Are the relationships between the concepts thoughtfully and carefully explored? Up to 30points.
  5. Is your analysis insightful, creative or otherwise reflecting particularly hard work, hardthinking, or both? Up to 16 points.

Excellence in every standard is the expectation for a grade of A.
Above-average overall performance in these standards will earn a grade of B.
Meeting the basic overall expectations of the assignment will earn a grade of C.

A paper which does not meet basic expectations in significant ways will earn a grade of D. A paper which does not meet minimal standards will receive a grade of E.

chapter we read and topics: chose any concept u feel interesting

– Social Interaction

-Social Structure

-Crime, Deviance and Social Control

-The Sociological Imagination


-Culture and the Media

-Cities and Communities, and the Urban-Ethnographic Tradition

-Power and Politics

-Markets, Work and Organizations

-Social Stratification, Inequality and Poverty

-Race and Ethnicity

-Gender and Sexuality

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