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The paper itself should be about four to four and a half pages (1200-1500 words roughly) in proper MLA format.  You are going to be REQUIRED to integrate quotes from one or more of the readings you have done so far out of the text and other readings I have given you, so consider that as you choose which topic to write on.  Papers that do not use the readings in some significant way will lose a lot of credit, so keep that in mind, ok?


OPTION #1: “Looking for Work” and “What We Really Miss About the 1950s” both discuss various angles of the idealized family…what we have created to be the perfect family in our heads, and in response to nostalgic memories and images of the ideal family presented to us through TV and other media.  Look at “Extending the Critical Context” #8 on page 41 of the text, and respond in essay form to this prompt.  Using “Looking for Work” in your response may be appropriate/possible, as well as using “What We Really Miss About the 1950s.”  What you may wish to do, too, is to compare a 1950s sitcom to to another that is on the air now or was recently.  Modern Family or Mom are two examples of good ones for comparing family dynamics, though I am sure you can think of several other possibilities.  Be certain that your paper is built around proving a certain point about the idealized family…that it is proving a thesis!  Also, if you use real life examples (or even theoretical ones), make sure to be descriptive and specific in your discussion…that’s why I had you do that silly descriptive details assignment…make sure to get your reader to picture exactly what you are talking about!

OPTION #2: Remember that experiment a couple weeks back where I asked you to disconnect yourself from your electronics for a while?  Well, do it again!  Spend time with friends or family playing an old fashioned board game like Monopoly or Clue in a gadget free phones, iPods (does anyone besides me still use an iPod?), TV, internet, and so on.  Describe and reflect on the experience in an essay, and compare the experience to the first time you did something similar for the discussion board question.  Was the experience easier the second time?  Harder?  More boring?  Less boring?  Did you suffer withdrawals from your phones?  Examine, analyze, and compare the experiences,  using the ideas/concepts/assertions/arguments in “Quality Time, Redefined” as part of your discussion.  Make commentary upon the article’s ideas, as well as your and your friends’/family’s experience with the activity.  Make sure to connect your discussion to some overall commentary for the general reader, however, so your experience matters to someone who does not know you.

OPTION #3: This option is basically the same as Option #2 above, but if you feel you can simply comment upon the impact of social media, technology, and other types of media upon the relationships and interaction among your family members, perhaps for both good and bad, without performing the experiment the prompt on page 100 describes, please do so.  Does modern technology assist or hinder communication within your family and social circles?  Do you ever wish you could be less connected through technology?  Do you ever wish to be even more connected through technology and media?  Explain and discuss, making sure to have your paper assert a specific thesis that it is geared toward proving.

OPTION #4: Keeping in mind some of the ideas and studies inside the essay “Making of a Divorce Culture,” discuss the effects a divorce has had on you or someone you know well.  What caused the divorce?  Was it necessary?  How did it change people’s lives?  Was the overall effect for the better or for the worse?  This should not be purely a personal narrative, however…you MUST use the article in a significant way in your presentation so that you are analyzing and commenting upon the forces and influences discussed within the essay by relating your own experience to the essay’s ideas.

OPTION #5: Think of the selection from the book Marriage Markets that you read on page 77 of your text, and look at Extending the Critical Context #11 on page 86.  In an essay, discuss your views on the topics within that writing prompt, and feel free to extend the discussion out a bit into other types of social media that are not necessarily meant specifically for dating, but often facilitate communication and relationships, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on.  Do you sense there being social strata within the world of these online media?  Where do you fit in within them?  Make sure to thoroughly analyze and use the content of Carbone and Cahn’s article as you discuss your views, opinions, and experiences.

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