Paper 1 can be about several things, your choice. 1) In 2 pages (APA or MLA, your call and please bring a hard copy to class) please summarize the life and thought highlights of a sociological figure beyond the “Big Three” (Marx, Durkheim and Weber). I would like if you could add some diversity to the three males of European descent that textbooks typically identify as the “founders” or “pioneers” of sociological theory and method. Two examples that come to mind are W.E.B DuBois, who had most African roots but also some Dutch and French ancestry. DuBois studied with Max Weber when he was teaching at the University of Berlin and Weber asked him to contribute an article for a journal on “The Negro Question in the U.S.” His book “The Philadelphia Negro,” published in 1899, was the first book of empirical sociology in the USA. Brit Harriet Martineau was arguably the first female sociologist. 2) Even though you are just starting your study of sociology, New York City is a wonderful place to do sociological observation because you have so many possibilities all around you. How do people behave on the street in Manhattan on 42nd Street compared to 14th Street compared to 125th Street? How do people behave in a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? How about an art museum or gallery exhibition opening or concert? 3) You may also write about a sociological issue. Scan the table of contents in our E-text for ideas. 4) You could do a sociological analysis of some popular culture phenomenon. Why do you think 19 million people watched the finale of Game of Thrones (and 18 million didn’t like it) or the 18 million who watched the last Big Bang Theory episode? 5) There are cultural or academic figures who are not labeled as sociologists such as psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and a significant number of his followers who absolutely were writing about sociological subjects. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was another one. Many consider the 1835 study “Democracy in America” by Frenchman and lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville to be the most incisive analysis ever written on the subject. Do something that you would enjoy learning about or thinking about! Happy paper writing….
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