SOC 3321 Idaho State University Alice’s Family History Sociology Report

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I’m working on a sociology report and need guidance to help me study.

Gesine Hearn

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SOC 3321 Sociology of the Family

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FAMILY HISTORY PAPER

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Goal

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The purpose of this paper is to interview a family and to analyze family processes and issues from a sociological perspective. The end result of this paper will be a sociological portrait of your subject family. You may use your own family, but may also select another family. Your interview will probably touch onto many themes covered in the course. Try to explore just two topics/issues. The bulk of the paper should contain the discussion of these issues relating the interview material to sociological concepts discussed in the class.

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Steps

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1. Pick a family member or friend you want to interview. Have some prepared questions but keep it open. Let the interviewee talk. Ask them just generally to talk about their family – how did the family start; what happened in that family over the time; how did the family develop; what issues did the family have to deal with and how did they adapt to changes or problems; etc.If the answers are short, probe and ask for further details. Some themes that may emerge in your interview are family structure, family change, parenting, child rearing practices, work and family, gender structures and ideals, marriage, divorce, remarriage, dysfunction and conflict handling, dating / mate selection, elderly care, family violence.

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2. Either tape record your interview or take detailed notes (I would recommend tape-recording!).

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3. One or several topics will emerge in your interview. Pick two of the topics that emerged and analyze them using the information you learned in class (and maybe some further information you found).

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4. Contextualize the issues. For example, if someone talks about marrying at a young age, write about current or historical patterns of age at first marriage and possible reasons for the trends. If someone talks about being a stepdad, add some information about stepfamilies and current trends in stepfamilies and stepfathers.

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5. Analyze the issues: apply information learned in class to explain the issues this family has encountered. For example, if the issue is domestic violence, look into known causes and consequences of domestic violence and see how they apply to this family. Look into different factors that might apply and explain why they might have played a role in this family.

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5. Once you have written a first draft of your paper, allow your interview subject to review your paper and possibly correct the information.

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6. Revise the paper – look for errors, clarity, and logical structure. The more you revise, the better your paper will get.

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7. Turn in your completed paper at Turnitin.com

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Form and Content

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The paper should be about 6-7 pages long. All papers have to be typed, 1.5 spacing, standard font, spell-checked, and proofread. Spelling, grammar, and writing style will be part of the grade. Use appropriate ASA citation format for your references and citations (a style guide is posted online).

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Put your name, the date you turned the paper in, and the class name in a header for each page of the paper.

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On the first page, list general information describing your family, such as names (pseudonyms), age and sex of family members, educational and occupational status of family members, racial/ethnic background, housing of family, and other pertinent information.

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Do not use the real names of the subjects! Give them pseudonyms to protect their identity.

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Include a small section on methods with information on why you selected your interview subject, time and place of the interview, length of interview, and if you tape-recorded your interview or relied on notes.

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You will find a couple of examples of family history papers written by students from a previous course on your Moodle webpage. You do not need to follow the structures of these papers. These papers are just illustrations of what is expected (description, analysis, and format) and how the assignment could be accomplished.

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The paper counts 30 points towards your final grade.

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The papers are due on May 3, 2021 by 8AM.

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PLEASE SUBMIT PAPERS AT TURNITIN.COM, a website assisting with grading. You will need to create an account with this website (you will need to enter an active e-mail and a password). Please go to http://www.turnitin.com and create an account.

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Once you have created an account, please enroll in the class called “SOC 3321”, the class ID is 18716500; the enrollment key is “Families”. Submit your paper under the assignment “Family History Paper”!

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Evaluation Criteria

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Your paper will be evaluated on (for a total of 30 points):

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Content(20 points)

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Conclusive description and summary of information gathered10 points

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Analysis and application of course material10 points

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Writing Style(10 points)

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Spelling/Proofreading/Grammar – Adherence to Guidelines 5 points

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Structure and Organization – logical sequence; clear argumentation 5 points

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An evaluation matrix detailing what is expected for an A, B, etc. paper is posted on Moodle.

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Note

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When getting permission to talk to a subject, be sure to explain the purpose of the interview and assure the subject that their names will not be identified. Let the subject review a first draft of your paper.When choosing your subject, keep in mind that older persons have the possibility of talking about two families: their own and the family in which they were raised. Avoid having another person from the family present during the interview. The presence of a spouse, child, sibling, etc. may make the subject less likely to be candid.

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Interviewing requires active listening. Your questions should be open-ended, prompting more talk from the subject. Your role is to record the subject’s experiences. Hold any questions that will arise in your mind while a person talks. Write the questions down, and follow up later.

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Be very careful about sensitive questions. If the interviewee does not want to answer a question, or seems to be uneasy about discussing a topic, drop the question.

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If you want a full and accurate account of someone’s speech, you need to tape record the interview. Most people will get over an initial nervousness if you explain to them, that tape recording will capture more accurately what they are saying. Assure participants that the tape will be erased after you have written your paper.

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