Soc 1 Honors project: social movement analysis paper
Student learning objective: You will strengthen analytical thinking and writing skills by analyzing an important social movement. You will read an OpenStax textbook chapter on social movements and use two key concepts from this chapter to analyze one of the following movements: environmental justice, Chicano Power, AIDS awareness, or prison abolitionism. This will result in a five to six page (1250-1500 words) sociological analysis of how the selected movement works to solve a key social problem. In so this you will strengthen their ability to make a sociological argument supported by data.
Structure of the assignment: Your paper will present a structured expository sociological analysis of HOW your selected social movement works to solve the social problem that motivates the movement. You will present and discuss relevant statistical data on the PROBLEM that gives rise to the movement, and then you will use two to three sociological concepts to analyze how the movement works to address that problem. All of the sources needed for this paper are linked here within this document; please do not include additional outside sources.
First, read Chapter 21 of the OpenStax Introduction to Sociology textbook:
- Select 1-2 concepts that you will use to analyze one of the social movements noted above. Interesting concepts you might want to choose include framing (including diagnostic, prognostic, and motivational framing), types or stages of movements (avoid “levels”). Be sure to support your argument with evidence selected from the sources indicated on the next page.
If you are not sure what expository writing is, here’s a brief explanation: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/expository_essays.html
Your paper should be organized following this framework:
Paragraph 1: Roadmap of your argument (NOT an introduction)
- Paragraph 1 provides a roadmap for the key points you will make in your paper. This means you will have to revise and refine this paragraph AFTER you write and revise the BODY of the paper. The first sentence states your argument and the remaining sentences provide a roadmap for the key points you will make in the paper. Nothing else should be in the paragraph. Avoid vague generalizations and clichés not directly supported by data and analysis in your paper.
Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5: Provide evidence of the problem the movement works to solve
- In the second and third paragraphs you will describe the 4-5 key data points that demonstrate the stakes of the social problem your movement works to resolve. Use parenthetical citations in the paragraph (Dunn, 2020, p.1) and use ONLY the assigned sources for relevant data. Please note: a web link is NOT A CITATION. Do not include web links in your parenthetical citations. Use only Author’s name, year of publication, and page number. If there is not an author’s name, use the name of agency reporting the data (for example CDC, 2001, p.3).
- In the fourth and fifth paragraphs, you will use your sociological imagination to analyze 2 key institutional mechanisms that sustain the social problem these data reveal. Resist cultural explanations (about values, beliefs, norms) in favor of political and economic explanations that focus on social institutions (workplaces, education, legal system, etc). How do our economy and our political system work to produce the data you reference above? Let your sociological imagination shine here; explain how this problem persists in our society.
Paragraphs 6 and 7: Analyze of TWO KEY ASPECTS of the social movement
- Present your analysis of HOW the social movement works to solve the problems described above. You must use key concepts from Chapter 21 of the textbook in this section. (For example: How does the movement engage social media in its diagnostic framing? How is this movement a revolutionary rather than a reformist movement? Many more Qs are possible; these are just examples to get you thinking.) Settle on answering two key HOW questions, one per paragraph.
- Support your claims with evidence of what you learned about the movement. Assess whether the movement is having (or had) any impact on the institutional mechanisms that sustain the problem you reference in the data.
- There is NO CONCLUSION. Again, avoid ending with a cliché or vague generalization. Avoid your personal recommendations on what the movement ought to do. Just end on the strength of your analysis of the movement. No bibliography is necessary; only use parenthetical citations (Ashley, 2015, p.3) and draw data only from legitimate sources noted below.
Topics and sources: Choose one of the topics below and include information and data from EACH these listed sources ONLY.
- La Raza documentary: https://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/episodes/la-raza
- Pew Research data: https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/
- Munoz article (Canvas)
- United in Anger documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrAzU79PBVM
- CDC data: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5021a2.htm
- Ashley article (Canvas)
- Overview of the abolitionist movement and its 3 pillars: https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/what-is-prison-abolition/
- Data for LA: The Million Dollar Hoods Project at UCLA (enter the map and select a different neighborhoods): https://milliondollarhoods.pre.ss.ucla.edu/?page_id=1382
- Helpful accompanying article by Dr. Lytle Hernandez (creator of Million Dollar Hoods) and Terry Allen: https://items.ssrc.org/from-our-programs/access-to-freedom-caged-la/
- Two articles on the major abolitionist victories in Los Angeles last year:
- KCET SoCal Connected segment: https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-connected/episodes/environmental-justice
- EPA Environmental Justice map: https://ejscreen.epa.gov/mapper/
- Agyeman et al article (Canvas)