A social problem

Introduction to Sociology (Thompson)

Paper #2

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Choose a social problem (for example poverty, homelessness, crime, juvenile delinquency, discrimination, mental health or suicide) and examine it in some detail within the context of two of the following: social class, income level, race/ethnicity, sex/gender, gender expression/orientation, or age. Further instructions will be provided in class.


  • This paper must meet the following criteria:
  1. Required minimum of 1200 words, preferably Times New Roman, Black Color, 12 Font type
  2. Required minimum of three reference sources relevant to the topic which must be properly cited. Sources should be primarily sociological and should be academic or “scholarly” sources such as books and journal articles. While online academic sources are acceptable, do not use quick “look-up” informational, encyclopedia, dictionary or wiki-type references. Analysis of your topic should incorporate and utilize your source material.
  3. Organization: the paper should include the appropriate sections (title, introductory paragraph, body, concluding paragraph and sources); should be “readable” and should be reasonably easy to follow and understand.
  4. Critical thinking: the paper must cover the topic thoroughly and must utilize sociological analysis, using key sociological terms and concepts covered in the text and in class. The paper must be more than descriptive or “informational” and must apply the sociological perspective or context you choose in some depth.
  5. The paper should be well written and generally free of spelling and grammatical errors.Proper In-Text Citations and Reference Page is required



Steps to guide you in writing this paper:


  1. Research a social problem to select as your topic
    1. Consider starting by Googling “social problems” and see what links pop up


  1. Define and explain your social problem in your introduction
    1. Answer the question of why your topic is a social problem and why it is worth studying sociologically
    2. Consider the sociological imagination:
      1. How is the social problem perceived on the micro-level and how can it be perceived on the macro-level?
      2. How is the problem both a personal trouble and a public (societal) issue?
      3. How does the social context (social, cultural, environmental) help people to understand the problem?


  1. Connect this problem to 2 of the following social concepts: sex/gender, race/ethnicity, social class, gender expression/orientation, income level, and/or age
    1. Address who in society is involved/impacted with this social problem
    2. Address why these people are involved/impacted
    3. Address possible structural (societal) causes of this social problem
    4. Address possible solutions to this problem



  1. Communicate with me any questions you may have



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