Sociological Foundations: Reflective essay

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In this essay we want you to write about your understanding of some of the sociological concepts that we have presented to you this semester. We would like you to write about these concepts from your perspective as a sociology student and a member of the social world. In the two previous written assignments you used research material to produce an answer to the question. What you did was to go to the texts and other research material and present the authors’ work in an essay form, in your own words. It was written from the perspective of the research material that you found in the context of the question that we posed. In this assignment we want you to also use the texts and other research material to produce this essay but the difference here is that we want you to assess what you’ve learnt; what engaged you; how it expanded your insight into the social world in which you live; and how it has affected your social identity.

The Task
Choose one of the following social factors that has played a significant role in shaping your personal identity: race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, age, religion, media, consumption, or social class. The task is to explain how your chose social factor has influenced your identity, that is, your experiences, choices, expectations, life chances, attitudes, morality, values, and worldview. If you’d like to choose a social factor other than the ones listed above, you need to confirm it with your tutor.
Seek to apply sociological theory and/or concepts that are relevant to the social factor shaping your life experiences. For example, if you chose to focus on race/ethnicity, you may apply relevant sociological concepts such as: racism, ethnocentrism, and cultural relativism. Make sure you define the key concepts. You need to cite at least 4 scholarly sources in your essay; citations could be used for definitions (e.g. definition of ‘social identity’), or in explaining the relationship between the above social factors and identity in a general sense. For instance, if your social factor is sexuality, then you need to find sources that address the relationship between sexuality and identity. You will then use those sources in reflecting upon and writing about the ways sexuality has shaped your life experiences and identity. Please note that this is to be a sociological essay and not a biography, so try to use analytical language, not emotive.

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