Group Project Assignment #3 (Group)
Social Institution Analysis of Your Social Problem & Finding Local Solutions
Due: Friday, November 11th
Social problems come from somewhere. Social policy decisions made by all levels of the government, business firms, schools, religious institutions, health care institutions, and every other social institution create consequences for the people they serve. Sociologists are tasked with examining individual choices and behaviors and tracing them back to decisions made at the social level. For this assignment, you are charged with finding how your social problem has been created, exacerbated, and maintained by social institutions. You are also charged with proposing a final systematic changes that will remedy the social problem. Lastly, you must discuss a local organization that is actively involved in addressing the social problem.
Write a seven (but no more than nine, more than nine pages will result in points deducted) page paper that addresses the following:
The institutions (just a reminder): The seven major social institutions discussed in class are: the family, the economy, the government/political system, the education system, the media, religious organizations, and the environment
Part A: Institutional Analysis (at least 3 FULL pages)
Identify the Major Players:
What social institutions are having the greatest impact on your social problem? Who is involved with creating or amplifying your social problem? Base your analysis on what the research you have collected says. I am uninterested in your opinion of the causes. I want to know what scholarly research says. Don’t submit a “common sense” sociological analysis. Be as specific as possible. What exactly are these social institutions doing that is causing or increasing the social problem? For example instead of saying, ‘the global economy” say, “The lending policies of The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.” Almost all of your social problems should have multiple social institutions that are impacting your social problem, but if you focus on just one institution you are expected to go in to great depth with precise details and facts.
Why do these institutions behave in these ways?
Act like a conflict theorist here and answer the question, “who is benefitting from this social problem?” and “who is suffering because of this social problem”. Why do these social institutions continue to behave in a way that causes these social problems? Is there inadequate public concern for the issue? Is the public unaware of the issue? Is the issue something that only affects a minority of people in the United States? Remember to base your answers to these questions on what your research says and not your opinion.
Part B: Proposing Systemic Solutions (at least 2 FULL page)
Propose Realistic Systemic Changes:
How could we realistically change the social institutions that you identified as a problem? What would the social institutions you identified as the problem need to look like for your social problem to be reduced or improved? Your proposed changes MUST BE FEASIBLE. That is you cannot suggest something that requires institutions, businesses, or people to be perfect or utopian. For example, saying, “All drug addicts must report to a drug rehab program” will not solve drug addiction. Also, be sure that if your solution is a multi-step process you identify all of the steps. Lastly, feel free to include any solutions proposed in the research you included in the fact sheet.
Evidence, Evidence, Evidence… not mere opinion.
In addition to the sources you’ve collected for the fact sheet you must find 3 more credible sources. Credible sources are defined as either a peer-reviewed source, a government website (i.e. .gov), or a source that has been approved by the professor prior to turning this assignment in.
PART C: Find a Local Organization Taking Action (At least 2 full pages)
It is always a good idea to see what is already being done before you take action. With this in mind, I want you to find a local, state, national, or international organization that is working to reduce your social problem. Be sure that the social agency you pick is focused on a system-based analysis of the problem and is taking ACTION. Remember individual-based social problem analysis is not the focus of this course. A blog or website that just says your social problem is bad, but is not taking action on this issue will not work. We want a group that is doing something to make the world better.
Now critically analyze the organization. What specifics ends are they trying to reach, how do they go about reaching them, and how successful have they been? Do they have a long-term plan or a set of policies they would like to see created or enforced? How do they argue the problem could be reduced? Provide a URL link to the organization’s website in your write up.
Social Institution Analysis and Finding Local Solutions Grading Rubric
|Ø Sufficiently identifies social institutions that affect the social problem.||_______/5 points|
|Ø Specific in identifying aspects or specific actors within the larger institutions.||_______/10 points|
|Ø Explains specific policies or actions that affect the social problem.||_______/10 points|
|Ø Student proposes a plausible reason why these institutions have not changed.||_______/5 points|
|Ø Student presents solutions that could reduce the social problem and the solution is feasible.||_______/5 points|
|Ø The solutions are not too simplistic and based in what current research on the problem suggest/ find.||_______/12 points|
|Ø The solution proposed has all of the steps in the process identified.||_______/12 points|
|Ø Organization is relevant to your social issue, took a social-based approach to your issue, and the agency was/is taking action on your issue.||_______/6 points|
|Ø Part C critically analyzes your organization as described in the directions above and URL link is provided||_______/12 points|
|Grammar and Formatting|
|· The paper should be typed, double-spaced; 12-point font, 1” margins, & at least 7 pages not including the reference page (number all pages & staple!)||_______/2 points|
|· Appropriate grammar and spelling||_______/2 points|
|· Includes at least 13 current references from reliable sources (published within the past 10 years)||_______/2 points|
|· Appropriate use of ASA citation style (ASA Guide: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/583/1/)||_______/2 points|
|Peer Evaluations||_______/15 points|
|Total Points||_______/100 points|
SELF AND PEER EVALUATION RATING SHEET: Assess each member of your group, including yourself, using the form below. Put your group member’s names across the top including your own, and then rate each person in the categories using the number system below. This evaluation is done anonymously; the group will not see the ratings you have given them. Be honest yourself and in evaluating others. Very few people—including yourself—are all 0.5’s or all 1.5’s. This is due in hardcopy with the Fact Sheet
Rating scale: Poor 0.5 Average 1.0 Outstanding 1.5
|Member Name #1||Member name #2||Member name #3||Member Name #4||Member name #5|
|1. Attendance : At all group meetings|
|2. Attitude : Open-minded, objective, respected other’s ideas, positive, didn’t complain|
|3. Contribution to the group’s task functions: Provides or asks for information and opinions, initiates discussion, clarifies, summarizes, evaluates, energizes, etc.|
|4. Contribution to the group’s maintenance functions: Serves as encourager, harmonizer, compromiser, tension releaser, gatekeeper, standard monitor, observer, follower, etc.|
|5. Contribution to effective and efficient group process: Avoids self-centered roles, follows the agenda, respects and adapts to member traits and differences, etc.|
|6. Readiness to contribute: Well-prepared|
|7. Willingness to contribute: Level of commitment to group’s goal; willingness to share, listen, adapt, exercise responsibility, etc.|
|10. Overall Effectiveness|