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Burnside: SOC 100: (fall 2021)

Sociology of Everyday Life

Step 1: Understand some of the recent chronology of Native America

Step 2: Choose a Native American Nation

Not sure where to start? Below is a list of just a few Native American Nations. Choose one to focus on:

Arapaho Apache Cherokee
Choctaw Navajo Ojibwe
Sioux Oneida Mohawk
Lakota Iroquois Hopi
Omaha Comanche Huron
Blackfeet Pawnee Ponca
Seminole Pontiac Creek
Shawnee Ottowa  


Step 3: Consider the assignment

SOC 100B:  Sociology of Everyday Life                                                    Fall, 2021

Instructor:  Dr. Jackie Burnside                                          Name ________________

Data Workshop:  Sociological Imagination* and a Timeline  (10%)                      
Due:   September 15th (Wed)

Introduction:  The task of Sociology, and its “promise”, as sociologist C. Wright Mills explained, is to help humans understand “the intersection between biography and history” (Ferris and Stein, 12).  By developing our sociological imagination, we can see links between our personal troubles (micro-level) and the larger social forces (macro-level) that influence our lives.  For instance, sociologist W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of double consciousness described the dual-identification racial minorities encountered living in America in the 19th and 20th centuries (Ferris and Stein, 233).

Purpose:  This assignment directs students to develop a timeline that identifies societal factors that affect one’s personal life (micro-level of family and friends) and their wider community (meso level of neighborhoods, schools/clubs & groups, religious and civil organizations) and the social world (macro-level of state/region/nation). 

DirectionsChoose time periods most relevant in your personal biography with your families’ experiences across two to four generations, if possible, about 40 to 100 years.

  • Choose two or three aspects of your life and family’s experiences, to consider in a broader (macro) view, especially within a greater historical perspective.  In your Hutchins Library research, discover three sources that will be useful.  Ranging from the personal (micro) to the group/societal (macro) views, think about ways your social class, religion, gender, race and/or ethnicity, have affected events in your life. 
  • As you become aware of social patterns, apply concepts and some of the major sociological perspectives our text provides (Structural-Functionalist, Conflict, Symbolic Interactionist, Feminist, and Post Modern).
  •  Your Timeline, and typed commentary (word count = 800-850), should include the application of three of our major sociological perspectives.  Discuss your decision-making process about which items to include and why.  What things influenced your interpretation, your meaning, of selected items?

Step 4 :Choose a social fact

Possible Social Fact Topics

pursuit of sovereignty land rights activism climate change activism
artifacts burial mounds commercialization and appropriation
of Indigenous art
kinship language coming-of-age rituals
holidays/traditions food education
folktales/creation stories religion/spirituality attire
music art/crafts social organization

Step 5: Look for 3 Sources

Source Type # 1: ARTICLES 

Ethnic Newswatch is a great place to search because it includes newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journal articles written by the actual Native American tribes you are researching.


We also have an online database of electronic encyclopedias, called Gale Virtual Reference, which you can search below:

We have print encyclopedias, listed below, which you can find in the Reference Area on the main floor of Hutchins. 

Source Type # 3: BOOKS

We have many print books, including children's books, related to Native American culture:

Step 6: Apply 3 sociologial perspectives

Sociological Theoretical Perspectives

Functionalism: A theoretical perspective based on the notion that social events can best be explained in terms of the functions they perform – that is, the contributions they make to the continuity of a society.

Conflict:  A theory which argues that deviance is deliberately chosen and often political in nature.

Symbolic Interactionism:  A theoretical approach in sociology developed by George Herbert Mead, which emphasizes the roles of symbols and language as core elements of all human interaction.

Rational Choice:   More broadly, the theory that an individual’s behavior is purposive. Within the field of criminology, rational choice analysis argues that deviant behavior is a rational response to a specific social situation.

Feminist:  A sociological perspective that emphasizes the centrality of gender in analyzing the social world and particularly the uniqueness of the experience of women. There are many strands of feminist theory, but they all share the desire to explain gender inequalities in society and to work to overcome them.

Works Cited:

Giddens, Anthony. Essentials of Sociology. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2008. Print.