Major Assignment: Introduction to Sociology

Assignment one


When reading the article you are going to read about a lot of things that meaning to the Nacirema people and you are going to compare them to OUR cultural norms and beliefs.  Watch this short video after you read the article and understand symbols…our other language.

Your reaction after reading this article.

Assignment two



Often times, we believe we are who we are because we think we make individualized choices free from outside influences.  Use the SOCIOLOGICAL perspective presented in Chapters 1-4 to describe five of your personal identities that are influenced by social forces.  Describe the identity and the social factors that have influenced this identity.

This may seem like a difficult assignment but is it actually very simple.   Pretend you just met someone you are very attracted to and they ask you, “What are you passionate about in life?’   You pause, mind spinning, wanting to impress them with something witty and charming.  Then you realize you really like this person and flash back to all of your failed dates and remember your Grandma telling you once to, “Just be yourself”.     Now, answer the questions.   What are you?  Who are you?  What drives you?  What are you passionate about?  Why do get up in the morning?






Now, review your five identities and select one of the Sociological Theories presented in Chapter 1, on or about  page 13, that best answers the question:  Who are You and Why?  Describe why the theory applies to your life.

If you watched the short video above of me walking into play volleyball one of the things I could use if I did this assignment is that I am a volleyball player.  Why am I a volleyball player?   Many social reasons…  I live in the middle class and have been employed my entire life and at this point I have the TIME and RESOURCES to have leisure time.   If I was poor I would most likely not be a volleyball player because I would have to be working more.  If I was working class I would also be working at this time of the day or sleeping after working the third shift.  So, the point here is many of our identities that we take as us just being us really have social forces impacting us more than we think.

Assignment three


What does consent mean to you?  Have you ever been pressured into sex or sexual acts?  Have you pressured someone into a sexual act?  Have you used alcohol or marijuana or other drugs to loosen someone up knowing they would be more likely to have sex?  Have you been intoxicated or high and do not remember an evening?

Are current events about politicians, actors and celebrities engaging in sexual misconduct changing your thinking about consent?

Start Date

Assignment four.

Marketing #1 Customer



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Marketing Your #1 Customer

Purpose:   To understand the importance of dyadic (two-person) relationships.  Practice a concrete technique/method to alter and possibly improve a dyadic relationship.  Understand how the Social Exchange Theory applies to our everyday lives in dyadic relationships.   (In plain every day English this means.   Sit and talk to another person who means a great deal to you.  Improve your relationship with that person by figuring out 3-5 things you can do on a daily/weekly schedule to make the relationship better.)

Watch this Ted Talk before you Market Your #1 Customer.

Skills/Knowledge used in this assignment:

Creating an environment/situation where two people can have a conversation about a serious topic.

Documenting, taking notes during a conversation.

Active listening skills.

Using positive body language.

Being honest and direct in a conversation.

Transcribing notes onto a Word document.

Knowledge/Skills gained:

Ability to listen to an example and then complete a similar interview.

Manipulate your environment to facilitate conversation.

Improve note taking skills while actively listening.

Honest/open communication.

Using handwritten notes to create a professional document.

Tasks:   Before interview

Identify your #1 Customer.

Make an appointment with your #1 Customer to have a conversation.

              During Interview

Set up a suitable location to have the conversation.

Be prepared to actively listen to compliments and significant criticisms about yourself.

Take notes while encouraging your #1 Customer to keep speaking openly and honestly.

Use positive body language.

Ask probing questions.

              After Interview

Transcribe all of your handwritten interview notes using Word.  12 font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins.

Identify 3 things your Customer likes about you as a product.   Bold or underline these items in your transcription.

Select 3-5 issues/items your #1 Customer identified about you that you are willing to work on.  Rewrite a short description of each of these items and below each item describe items/tasks that you are going to actually DO in order to make yourself a better product to your #1 Customer.

Include why your #1Customer felt these 3-5 items were important?

Your final paragraph should be a reflection about the ideas/lessons you learned about yourself, communication, dyadic relationships or any other thoughts.

Turn in your transcribed final, Marketing Your #1 Customer assignment.

Participate in the discussion about, Marketing Your #1 Customer and how this assignment improved or changed your relationship and if you see a connection to Social Exchange Theory.

Some of you are still confused!

Pick a person in your life that is important to you.

Sit down and ask them these questions:

What do you like about me as a product/person?     Shut up and listen.

Write their answers down.  Be a scientist and listen.   Make no comments .

Probe deeper…   If they say, “you are a nice person”   You ask,  “Give me three examples of how I am a nice person.”   Write these answers down.

Do not let your #1 customer get away with shallow cheap, politically correct answers.   Dig!   Ask them why why why…

What is my best attribute?   Why?  Why ?   Give examples.

What can I do, as a product/person to be a better product/person?

Now comes the hard part.

Ask them these questions:

How can I be a better person/product in our relationship?      Ask for concrete examples.   If they say something sappy like, “Love me more”.   Ask them, “Give me three examples of how I can love you more?”   Then ask for more detail.  Real things.  If they say… be more romantic.   Ask them… what is romantic to you?

In the last 6 months how have I hurt our relationship?   Ask for examples…   I remind you.  Shut up and listen.  Make no comments.  Write down the answers.

When you have done all this write up your summary and turn it in.  From your interview decide upon 3-5 things you are actually going to change about yourself to have a better relationship with your #1 Customer. 

Participate in the discussion.


Shut up and listen.   Take notes.   Do not be offended by ANYTHING they say.  Be a scientist collecting data.

Submit Assignment

Files to submit

Assignment 5

Sex Scorecard


Read/watch the following articles/videos:


Then write a ¾-1 Page reaction to the readings. Title this reaction as Sex Scorecard.        

Be brave in your writing this week. 

Sex education in the United States is pretty bad by developed country standards. Say what you think, what do you want to know. Ask questions you have.                 

Assignment 6


Corona Virus Exception for this assignment. Your new assignment is to write about how the “social distancing” and personal isolation are affecting your life.  What are you doing that is different from your life before Coronavirus?  How is this situation changing your relationships with people in your life?   Be specific in your observations. 

Groups and Organizations, Personal space, Culturally learned personal space, and  Group size and relationships.

Read about Group Size in Chapter 5 on Page 129.   Your assignment is to go to a party, club, family event, public space such as a mall or restaurant and look at the physical layout of the space and watch the interactions people have in the space.  Watch people, make diagrams of where people sit, stand, eat, talk…   What did you see?  Did the patterns you see follow the chart on or around page 129, depending upon what book edition you have.   Was there any deviant behavior?  Now apply what you read in Chapter 7 about deviance and compliance to everyday human behavior.   Turn in your observations.

Assignment 7


Chapter 9 quiz From your book read Nickel and Dimed on Page 12 (in other editions of the book you will have to find it) Answer  and submit the three questions.  If you have an older edition of the text for the class.. look in the back under Barbara Erenreich, Nickel and Dimed for the page number of the half page article.   It is in Chapter 1.

Neo-Colonialism, Corporations, Firestone

Assignment 8


How much of your life is determined by your social class?  The way you dress?  Speak?  Walk?  Where you live?  What schools and college you went/go to?  Who you marry? 

Assignment 9


Watch both of these videos… This is supposed to be controversial… learning should not be comfortable.  If you are comfortable learning are you really learning anything?

Watch and submit a reaction to the TED Talk, 50 Shades of Gay

Assignment 10


Watch these short videos:

  After watching the above videos read the article below and do your interview.                                  

1)  Go to:  and read the article:  Now That I’m Here

2)When you read the article you probably thought of a person from high school, neighborhood, place of worship, work, or college that is an immigrant.  DO NOT INTERVIEW YOURSELF!  If you are an immigrant find a person from another country, not a relative!

3) Set up a time to talk to them about issues of immigration, race, racism, hunger, war, poverty, politics, homelessness, in their country of origin and in the United States.  What was their experience with these issues in their past and now in the United States.  Ask them what they want for their lives and the lives of their children.  Do they send help back to their relatives.

4) Summarize your conversation.  Teach me something about this person and their experience in America.            

5)   Title the entry:  Now That I’Participate in the discussion, Now That I’m Here, Race and Ethnicity in America.

Assignment 11


You have watched the links… read and taken 12 quizzes.  How are Chapters 1-12 in your book interrelated?

What do Human Rights, globalization, politics, gender, Sociological theory, sports all have to do with each other?

Assignment 12


What is your purpose?   Your goals?  Tell me your What, your How… how are you going to accomplish your WHY?

Tell me your WHY!     Why do you want to accomplish your what.

A short video about the intended purpose of education and the achievement gap.

Is this a point of view that you agree or disagree with?

Assignment 13


What do you think about the education you received in K-12?  Was is good?  Did you get less than kids in Woodbury or Eden Prairie get?  What do you want for your kids?  Did you get enough education to vote?  To really think for yourselves?

Assignment 15


Shameless (U.S.)   Go onto Netflix, beg or borrow access it is not that difficult.   Watch at least the first two episodes of this series.   Many of you will become addicted and binge watch it.   Welcome to my world.  After you watch the first two episodes or two random episodes I want you to comment about the following in your response.  

How does social class impact where you live?   Reflect at where you have lived in your life how much have you had to deal with crime?   Do you know people like the family in this series?   Think of social class, not race or ethnicity.  Research has shown over and over again that crime and poverty are linked.    How can we as a society and individuals weaken this link?    What sociological theory most applies to the people in this show?

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