Select a topic on a social problem and write a 5-6 page paper investigating the issue from a sociological perspective. Introduction (10 points): Identify and define the deviant behavior or social problem. Introduce your social problem and argument on the first paragraph. You need to provide a clear thesis statement and a “hook” to draw the reader in. If possible, identify and explain the views of different “claims-makers.” Claims-makers are non-academic sources like politicians, religious leaders, our parents and friends, and mainstream or corporate media outlets. What values appear to inform their thinking? Can you identify any hidden agendas beneath the rhetoric? Is one group of claims-makers more convincing to you? Why? Background information (10 points): In your paper you should provide some background information on the social problem you are researching. Use facts & cite your academic sources to demonstrate the behavior exists. Identify who is hurt by the problem; explain the scope of the social issue (how big is it, where does it occur, who is involved in it, etc.) How might social inequality be connected to this problem? Theoretical section (15 points): Explain what you believe to be the contributing factors “causing” the deviant behavior or social problem. Give evidence to support your choices. When you’re thinking about this, apply a minimum of two theoretical perspectives in sociology. You may use Conflict Theory (Karl Marx), Functionalism (Emile Durkheim), Strain Theory (Robert Merton), Symbolic Interactionism or Subculture Theories, Labeling Theory, Broken Windows Theory, and/or Feminist Theory. Feel free to incorporate concepts such as the Sociological Imagination, Anomie or In your paper, begin by explaining, in detail, the sociological theory or theories you use. Feel free to use my lecture notes and the textbook as sources. Then, you must explain how these theories help us understand the nature of the deviant behavior or social problem you are researching. Don’t forget, you must discuss a minimum of two sociological theories in your paper. Solutions (5 points): Propose solutions to eliminate the deviant behavior or social problem. Tie your solutions to the causes you have identified. What stumbling blocks or opposition exists that might prevent your solutions from being implemented? Conclusion (5 points): To sum up, describe what a realistic utopia would be like if your social problem were solved.

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