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M2 Writing Assignment: Society and Groups (Week 5)
The purpose of this assignment is to help you assimilate information covered in the readings and to reflect on your own beliefs, feelings, life experience and professional readiness in relation to sociology. Further, these assignments are intended to help you develop their critical thinking, analytical and communication skills. With these assignments, you will be able to practice critiquing social issues and develop your ability to respond to some of the complex misconceptions, interpretations and attitudes towards the various dimensions of sociology covered throughout the term.
Like the purpose outlined above, the organization of this assignment is twofold. First, it allows you to engage with the module?s subject matter in general, and then more closely with specific topics. Second, the assignment allows you to articulate their reflection and analysis of the subject matter as a structured narrative.
The assignment is to be completed in two steps as follows:
STEP 1: Make a list of all of the different groups in your social world. Then label each group making sure you have at least one example of a primary group, secondary group, in-group, out-group, and a reference group. Now, write the instrumental and expressive functions of each group next to the group. You may choose to copy and paste the table below to use during the assignment. Write a brief analysis (200-300 words) of your table or list, and reflect on which groups you feel play a large role in your life, and why. Share the table or list in your assignment submission.
My Social Groups
Group??? Group Label??? Instrumental/Expressive Function
1.??? ???
2.??? ???
3.??? ???
4.??? ???
5.??? ???
6.??? ???
7.??? ???
8.??? ???
9.??? ???
10.??? ???
STEP 2: In a response between 400-500 words, write an essay that provides well-reasoned responses to the questions below. Utilize examples and applications from your own life as well as the readings.
What is a bureaucracy that most impacts your life? List the ideal-type characteristics outline by Weber in your reading on formal organizations, and evaluate Webers ideal-type. Does it accurately describe the bureaucracy you selected? Why or why not?
To what extent do you think our society is a meritocracy? Where do we see nepotism? The Kennedy and Bush administrations included multiple members of the same family serving in the most powerful positions in American government and many corporations also have extensive familial ties. The same could be said for the current Trump administration. What about in Ivy League institutions? Most have an alumni/legacy preference. Does this take away from merit-based admissions?
Before you submit, read the following:
A properly done assignment will contain:
An introduction that provides a brief summary of the readings
Thorough answers to all assigned questions
Strong evidence of synthesis of ideas and insights from the readings and material covered in the module
In-depth reflection on, and personalization of, the theories and concepts learned in the module
Paragraphs that articulate viewpoints coherently and logically
Clear, concise, and well-organized writing
Acceptable standards of college-level writing style, grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling
For details on how your work will be assessed, please consult the grading rubric for this assignment presented below.

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