The Social Construction of Stuff
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT (50 points): In groups of four, you will complete an 8 – 10 page research paper examining how something that we do not usually think about in our daily lives has been socially constructed. This can be anything and creativity is encouraged. You will consider your “stuff” from three perspectives, and each group member will contribute one part per perspective (see below), to explain how that thing has come to be the way we know it today.
*Every paper must have the following sections:
Historical Section: Each group member will pick a specific era in your “stuff’s” United States history (go back as far as possible). Research and write about your era, and then put the together in chronological order in this section of the paper.
Cross-cultural Section: Each group member will pick a different country. Research and write about how your “stuff” is used in your country in present day, and then put each country together in this section of the paper.
Macro Perspectives Section: Each group member will pick another macro perspective that you can relate to your “stuff” (i.e. gender, politics, media…). You will research and write about how that macro perspective has shaped our understanding/experiences of your “stuff” in present day, United States culture. Each section should have a subheading heading and be included in your final paper.
In the paper you will take a sociological and objective approach. For example, if you are researching marijuana I DO NOT want a paper about why smoking marijuana is bad for people and should not be legalized (or, on the other hand, why you think it should be legal).
Your paper should be in standard essay form, 12 pt font, double spaced, 1” margins. Please proofread. You must have a works cited page listing at least 8 outside sources (2 per group member). You will upload the final paper here (one person in the group will submit the paper), and it must be turned in as a word doc, pdf, or goggle doc. No other file will be accepted, and if another format is submitted that will result in a grade of zero for the group. The final papers are due no later than Sunday, October 18, 11:59 pm. Turn them in on the assignment page (Module 7.14).
You will be put in groups no later than week 3. Groups are assigned randomly, but if there is a classmate you would prefer to work with, let me know ASAP and I will be happy to make those arrangements. You can send your request to my Canvas Inbox no later than, Wednesday, September 9, 11:59 pm. I will NOT change groups once they have been made, so please get me those requests before that deadline.
A brief proposal of your topic and which parts each of you will contribute to each perspective is due by Sunday, September 20, 11:59 pm, as an inbox message (1 proposal per group, and I will give more details about this once groups are assigned, in an announcement).