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Describe the major social institutions found in most societies.

The Data Analysis Assignment is intended to engage students by asking them to reflect on the relationship between institutional arrangements in their lives, and:  1. institutional actions and events across multiple levels of activity; 2.  cross-cultural institutional forms; and 3. institutional change over time. However, in accomplishing that task students are asked to analyze and develop conclusions about the theories and concepts regarding institutional arrangements introduced to them through the readings, lectures, and ongoing class discussions for the week.

Learning Outcomes Supported

  • Describe the major social institutions found in most societies.
  • Analyze the social and individual functions and dysfunctions of each institutional form.
  • Explain the interactions of social institutions at the regional, national, and international levels.
  • Apply influential institutional theories and concepts to specific cases.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different institutional solutions to social problems.
  • Explain how social institutions shape individuals and their life chances.

Value: 200 points

Directions

Students must choose one of the institutions discussed in this course as their essay focus.  The essay must address the following issues:

  • How has the American form of this institution developed since World War II?
  • Compare the American form of this institution to its expression in two other countries.
  • Discuss how this institution positively and negatively affects individuals.  How might individuals work to change it for the better?
  • Apply one institutional theory in an extended critical analysis to more clearly understand the workings of this institution.
  • Evaluate how this institution is adapting to pressures from globalization or changes in other institutions.

Your essay should incorporate the results of several sources of original sociological research, provide clear and well-developed examples for each of your major points, and critically evaluate the effects of this institution in the Information Age.

The essay should use only as many words as necessary, but should be less than 2500 words in length (not including references, tables, or figures).


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