Explore sociologically a song in greater depth and demonstrate your sociological knowledge.

The purpose of this assignment is to explore sociologically a song in greater depth and demonstrate your sociological knowledge. At the completion of this assignment, you should be able to do the following:

1. Identify social issues in music. Research solutions to those problems.

2. Listen to music to expand your knowledge on sociological issues.

3. Demonstrate your skills of critiquing a song.

5 points for attempting to do the paper

5 points for the Introduction-In this section you will tell me what song you picked. Why you picked this song? Did you have a special interest in the song?

15 points- Summary-Give a summary of the song that you picked. When I am done reading your summary I should know what your song is about.

20 points -What social problems or problem did you identify in the song? What references (research) do you have to indicate that these are social problems? You must include research to indicate that the problems that you have identified in your song are social issues. Wikipedia or other websites may not be used as a reference in this section. You should identify at least 2 references that are in academic journals. Be specific, use examples in the song that you also find in your research.

20 points –In this section you will identify solutions to your social problems identified in your song. You should find at least 3 solutions to your social problem or problems identified in your song. Each solution should have its own paragraph. Your solution should be supported with research. You should find at least 2 references to support your solution or solutions. You may use websites for this section.

Do good research. For instance if you song discussed the domestic violence you would find other sources that discuss domestic violence. THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE SONG!

15 points- Critique- This is your section to state what you liked or did not like about the song? Did you find any research to indicate why the author wrote the song? If you were an artist, would you change anything about the song?

5 points-Conclusion-restate what has already been stated in the paper. Conclude the paper.

15 points paper structure-this includes paper length 4-6 pages. If your paper is shorter of longer there will be points deducted. Please look at the syllabus for basic information about the paper to include the margins, font, Times New Roman, MLA format. Incorrect format, font size, margins, etc., will result in a deduction of points. A reference page and a cover page are also required. You should have at least 6 references on your works cite page (2 to support the solutions, 3 to support your social problem, and your song. You may use more if you wish to. These sources may be journal articles, reputable websites, other books, etc. to support your paper. NO WIKIPEDIA Cover page should include your name, date, and title of the paper.

Be creative! Have fun! I will also be very flexible for this assignment.

The paper will be double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. This typed, double paper should include both a title page, and a reference page, which is not included in the 4 to 6 page length. This paper will require you to discuss, analyze, and critique a movie utilizing your choice of theoretical approaches. APA format is required. The FTCC library has books on writing essay papers for those who have not written one. I am available during to discuss any and all aspects of the paper. I will evaluate your paper primarily on the sociological content; however, improper paper format, grammar errors, and sentence errors will be taken into account. This exercise is for you to explore sociologically one of the readings in greater depth and demonstrate your sociological knowledge.

Examples of songs that have more of a functionalist perspective:

When Iran held 53 American hostages during 1979 and 1980, people across the nation remembered them with yellow ribbons. Tony Orlando’s song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” achieved a new surge of popularity. Yellow ribbons continued as a patriotic symbol when the United States greeted returning Desert Storm soldiers in 1991. Moreover, Bette Milder’s song “From a Distance” expresses solidarity with troops serving in the Persian Gulf.

Social values may also be promoted in songs. The long tradition of gospel music suggests that faith in Jesus Christ will lead to salvation. In the 1960’s, the Beatles told us “All You Need is Love.” Then during the era of Vietnam War, they asked that we “Give Peace a Chance.”

The conflict perspective is also identified in music.

Popular music can reflect the values of a particular age group and therefore intensify the battle between the generations. In the 1960’s, folksinger Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin” warned older people to get out of the way of the younger generation. More recently, much of punk rock and alternative music (and attire) is designed to shock conventional society and reflect the sense of alienation and outrage that its enthusiasts feel.

Popular can also represent direct political assault on established institutions. The Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.” and the Smith’s “The Queen Is Dead” attack the British monarch. Many of the reggae songs of Bob Marley and the Wailers, such as “Burnin and Lootin” endorsed a revolution in Jamaica. Similarly, certain rap songs, among them Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and Ice-T’s “Cop Killer” challenge the established social order of the United States. Rap music has also been criticized for tis misogynistic overtones. Rap music video’s commonly feature women in an ornamental and or/objectified poses.


Barongan, C. & Nagayama, G. The Influence of Misogynous Rap Music on Sexual Aggression against Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly. 19(2). July, 2006. 195-207.

Cooper, B. Lee “Popular Songs Military Conflict, and Public Perceptions on the United States at War. Social Education. (56) March 1992:10-168.

Denisoff, R. and Williams, R. An Introduction to Sociology. New York: Macmillan. 1983. Pp. 23-26.

McGraw Hill Sociology Notes.

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