A Sociology Event

Analyze a major event sociologically.  Be sure to include the following questions in your analysis:

  1. Why did this happen from a sociological perspective?

2.  What social context did it occur in?

3. How many are affected annually by the problem?

4.  Use sociological vocabulary (correctly!) and thoroughly explain your ideas.

5  Which sociological theory best explains this event?  Does it take multiple theories?   Remember I want to see you critically engaged in the material, that is, show me you’re thinking and you understand the material.  Recent examples are:

a.   The attack in Charlottesville Virginia that left one dead and 19 others injured, some critically.

b.       The stabbing death of two men in Portland Ore on a light rail train, after intervening when another passenger began “ranting and raving and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women.

c.        Manchester Arena Bombing

d.       The murder of South Carolina State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney and the other 8 individuals in the Charleston Church Massacre.

e.      Other examples include 9/11, major elections, crime, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other aspect of American culture that interests you.

One thing to remember, you are to explain this event sociologically in light of a (or multiple) social problems.  In doing so you are to explain why the common explanations we hear in the media and by laypersons is inadequate for fully explaining the event.

An extremely brief example of what I’m talking about (DO NOT use this example): The Virginia Tech school shooting was mostly framed within a psychological perspective.  Much of the arguments we heard were that the man was mentally deranged, sick in the head or under stress.  While certainly pertinent to the discussion they are not the only explanations.  Using the Sociological Imagination, we look for the link between the individual and society.  Why is it that studies show school shooters are disproportionately male?  Why don’t females usually commit these types of crimes?  How were his cries for attention handled within the institution of the school?  The type of society we live in glorifies violence; our history is fraught with violence (e.g. our genocide of Native Americans, etc.).  Our culture also glorifies guns and guns as a method of solving disputes.  How are men socialized to deal with anger and other emotions?  These are examples of using then link between society and the individual to explain human actions.



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