For this assignment, I want you to pick a movie or TV show and use it to illustrate a sociological concept discussed in this course. This 1-2 page paper should be formatted the same way as your position papers (11 point Calibri or 12 point Times New Roman, 1” margins, double spaced, etc.). I do not expect you to do any outside research or include any references, but you can if you like.
This assignment has two components. First, I want you to tell me what movie/show you are discussing and what concept you are applying to the media. This should include explicitly giving me a definition of the concept. Second, I want you to describe in detail how this particular media serves as an example of the concept. Assume that I have never heard of the movie or show, so give me all relevant information I will need to accurately grade your assignment.
This is not simply a participation grade; I will be taking into account how well you relate the media to the concept, creativity involved in your response, and your overall presentation of the information. This means that if you just write two pages summarizing a show, you will not get full points. Below are listed some tips for getting full points.
Any topic from lecture or the text is fair game. This includes a conflict theory, the Protestant Work Ethic, cultural conflict, social mobility, colorblind racism, the second shift, social control theory, etc.
Try to pick a specific concept. If you want to talk about race in Disney films, pick white privilege in Pocahontas or phenotype in Aladdin If you want to discuss sexuality in Sponge Bob, focus on androgyny, queer theory, or heternormative assumptions instead. If you want to talk about crime in The Wire, apply a specific criminological theory such as Merton’s Strain (the full typology).
Keep in mind who will be reading your paper. I am very familiar with some shows and movies, less so with others. When you are summarizing the show or applying a concept, give me enough information to know what you’re talking about, but avoid telling me more than is necessary. If you’re talking about the male gaze in Doctor Who, I probably don’t need to be told the entire history of The Doctor and the Daleks. Conversely, if you’re talking about conspicuous consumption in Duck Dynasty, it would probably be a good idea to briefly discuss what the family does for a living, where they live, and any other relevant details regarding commerce on the show (I’ve never seen an episode, and have only a very slight understanding of it).
Write at least one full page. If what you give me is less than a page, you won’t get full points.
Any examples discussed in class will not be accepted, nor will any collaborative efforts. This means no working in pairs or borrowing someone else’s idea