a sociological analysis of a piece of media (a book, a television show, a movie, a video game, a comic b

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Students will conduct a sociological analysis of a piece of media (a book, a television show, a movie, a video game, a comic book, etc.).

Please note that I will be using a plagiarism checker, so be sure the paper is your own work (quotes are welcome, of course, but must be cited; even with quotes, at least 75% of the paper must be your own, original words).

Guidelines:

· In your sociological analysis of a media product, pick at least five of the following subtopics in which to provide supporting details:

o Theory: How would a theorist in one or several theoretical traditions in sociology look at your case? What would their perspective be?

o Methods: How does the organization evaluates its success? How could it test whether or not it has been successful? Describe at least two methods of evaluation (e.g. conducting an experiment; analyzing descriptive statistics; interviewing participants; observing members; etc.)

o Culture and Media: Describe the organizational culture. What are the material aspects versus the immaterial aspects? What are the values and norms of the organization? How is this organization depicted in the media, and how (if at all) does the media impact the organization?

o Socialization and the Construction of Reality: How does the organization fit into the fabric of social life? How are new members socialized? Which social theory (from chapter 4) best explains interactions within the organization, and why?

o Groups and Networks: How does social interaction in the organization happen—in dyads, triads, or larger groups, and are there particular characteristics of the social groupings that people take on? What in-groups and out-groups exist in the organization? How might social capital impact the group dynamics within the organization?

o Social Control and Deviance: What social sanctions are put in place for those who do not adhere to the group’s stated norms and values? Are there ways in which participants are “labeled” negatively? What are the formal or informal sanctions against breaking the organization’s or group’s rules?

o Stratification: Are the members unequal/equal in any way, and if they are, is this equality most like equality of opportunity, equality of condition, or equality of outcome? Which form of stratification does it seem most like? Which social class category is this institution most closely associated with? Does this organization contribute more to social reproduction or social mobility?

o Gender: How do sex, gender, and/or sexuality come into play in this organization? In what ways does this organization reinforce or undermine traditional gender roles (or heteronormative sexuality)? How does gender (or sexuality) inequality manifest in this organization?

o Race: How does race/ethnicity come into play in this organization? In what ways In what ways does this organization reinforce or undermine conceptualizations, stereotypes, and social relations related to race/ethnicity? How does racial/ethnic inequality manifest in this organization?

o Poverty: How does poverty come into play in this organization? Are there themes from the poverty chapter that come up in the organization, like regarding the culture of poverty thesis or ideas around perverse incentives? Does the organization have a role in mitigating or facilitating poverty?

o Health: How does health come into play in this organization? Are there ways in which the social interactions in the organization may lead to positive or negative health outcomes?

Topics:

Below, I have provided some examples of media products about which you could write.

· Love Is Blind (example below)

· The Handmaid’s Tale

· The Circle

· Parks and Recreation

· Game of Thrones

· Harry Potter

· The Hunger Games

· The Office

· Brooklyn 99

· Superstore

· Atlanta

· Grey’s Anatomy

· Assassin’s Creed

· World War Z

· …Really anything! Any novel, television show, video game, movie, etc.

Love Is Blind (Yes, the Netflix Show)

· Theory: Sociological theorists from different traditions will look at this show in different ways. For example, a structural-functionalist might focus on the function that marriage plays and argue that, due to the disconnection in social life right now, a show like Love Is Blind is necessary because marriage is a social institution associated with positive outcomes. A social conflict theorist might think about how different social statuses become important, particularly with the focus on Lauren and Cameron’s mixed-race relationship, Jessica and Mark’s mixed-age and mixed-ethnicity relationship, Barnett and Amber’s mixed-class relationship, Giannina and Damien’s mixed-immigrant backgrounds, or Diamond and Carlton’s mixed-sexuality relationship. A social interactionist might think more about how the pods facilitated different micro- interactions without the ability to make appearance-based first impressions.

· Methods: The premise of Love Is Blind is to show that, well, love is blind: people talk to one another through thin walls in insulated pods, with the goal to eventually propose to someone without ever having seen them. To evaluate whether love is blind, the show facilitates this process and shepherds couples all the way to the altar. To assess whether the show is effective at facilitating love, they would have to randomly select their participants from the marriage-eligible population and, at different points after marriage, measure whether participants remain married. They could also assess different levels of marital satisfaction.

· Culture and Media: This show is in part a response to the dating culture that exists today in which people’s first impressions are almost entirely physical; many people meet their partners by

“swiping” on dating profiles.

· Socialization and the Construction of Reality: Participants all start at the same time, so they work on building norms together. Additionally, because the current iteration is the first time the show has ever been done, participants had nothing to which to compare it. For these participants,

“reality” was constrained to a dorm-like living situation and in-person truly-blind dates.

· Groups and Networks: Within each gender’s “dorms,” dyads began to form in which participants who were interested in the same person would connect with each other (or would specifically avoid talking about their shared interest in order to mitigate tension).

· Social Control and Deviance: Participants were often sanctioned when they changed their mind about someone or they said something that was not perceived to be true. For instance, at one point, a participant expressed interest in a woman and mentioned a proposal; the next day, he expressed that he felt differently. This participant walked out on him.

· Stratification: The participants are all equal from the outset, starting out with the same chance to woo a partner. This is a manifestation of equality of condition, since there is a type of “affirmative action” in place to keep people who are particularly physically attractive from garnering all the interest of potential suitors.

· Gender: It is worth nothing that all of the participants are at least interested in the opposite sex; there was one participant who described himself as bisexual, but he described how he was there to meet a woman to marry. Because of the way the dates and living arrangements were structured—where men lived with men, women lived with women, men only dated women, and women only dated men—this show relies on mostly heteronormative conceptualizations of sex and love.

· Race: Because participants could not see each other, they had limited ability to infer one

another’s race (unless they asked, which did not happen often). One black participant mentioned that this resulted in her dating a white man for the first time in her life.

· Poverty: Nearly all of the participants appeared to be from middle-class backgrounds. There was only one participant who appeared to be distinctly unemployed, and her aspiration was to be a stay-at-home mother. Due to the show’s stratified selection process, people from lower social strata did not have an equal chance to participate.

· Health: This show prioritizes marriage, which has many positive health benefits. However, being on a show is an extremely stressful experience, which has negative health-related consequences.

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