University of Idaho Sociological Imagination Discussion

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Pick a group that you belong to and that you know very well (basketball team). I do not want you to have to struggle to come up with facts about the group. Pick something that you know well enough that you can focus on the sociology and have the rest flow easily. Pretend that I do not know anything about your group, your culture, or your experience. Write this paper as if your group were being introduced to the world for the first time. Keep it very simple and straightforward.
I am leaving the rubric intentionally vague so that you can write about any aspect that you are most interested in. For example, when telling me about the group’s history you might write about the actual history of how the group was formed or about your own experience becoming a part of the group. The discussion about social context, norms, and history is just intended to give the reader a sense of who your group is, what they do, and basically why they exist. I am not looking for anything specific beyond that general frame.

After describing the group, pick one of our main three theories to use to explore your group. You might pick symbolic interactionism and talk about the symbols that your group uses and the meaning behind those symbols (ballet shoes, uniforms, hair styles, handshakes/gestures, clothing, words, etc.). You might use the conflict perspective to talk about who has access to resources (such as attention from group leaders) and who does not have access. You could also choose the functionalist perspective and talk about what function your group fills in society or what role each individual plays in the group. These are just quick examples. Please let me know if you would like any more details or help.

  1. The next step is to compare your group to society as a whole. Since you cannot spend the time independently researching society as a whole, you can find 4 to 5 reputable sources of information related to your group. For example, if your group is a baseball team, you might look at injury rates of baseball players versus injury rates for your team. Whatever the societal comparison point is, explain why you think your group is similar to or different from society as a whole.
    To help you find reputable sources of information, I recommend that you review the Research Resources page

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