Sociologists use sociological theory to help us understand and interpret the social world around us. It is the foundation of sociological analysis and can help us understand many aspects of our everyday lives. Thus, the sociological imagination can be used to explain any event by placing it in the larger social, historical, or cultural context.

For this assignment, search the Internet or print resources for a popular (as opposed to scholarly) article concerning a larger issue or event related to your field or the field you are considering working in (for example business, healthcare, technology, criminal justice) that has occurred in the last six months to a year. For the purposes of this assignment, do not pick an article about one individual. For example, if your field of study is healthcare management, you could choose a recent article concerning the Affordable Care Act.

For this assignment, complete the following:

  • Describe your current issue or event and then analyze that event or issue objectively and sociologically using the following three theories or concepts that have been presented in this course:
    • Functionalist theory—including manifest or latent functions, meeting a need for the society, and institutions and the idea that institutions are interdependent upon each other.
    • Conflict theory—including competition for power and social resources, ideologies, and disproportionate distribution of resources.
    • Symbolic interactionist theory—including symbols, meanings to actors, coming to agreement on a shared definition of the situation, and the concept that reality is created in interaction between actors.
  • Use the article to support and provide examples for the highlighted theoretical ideas. It is expected that you use the vocabulary and concepts for each theory introduced in this unit as you analyze your article.
  • Address all three theories in your paper. Some events may be difficult to interpret according to a particular theory. If that is the case, explain why that specific theory is not a good one to use in this circumstance. Be sure to include appropriate concepts relevant to the theory in your explanation.
  • Use APA format for citations, references, and general paper formatting. Your writing should use correct grammar and mechanics.
  • Your paper should be at least two to three pages in length, excluding the cover page and the references page.

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