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Burnside: SOC 100: (spring 2024)

Sociology of Everyday Life

The Assignment

SOC 100:  Sociology of Everyday Life                                     Spring 2024

Instructor:  Dr. Jackie Burnside                                          Name ________________

Data Workshop:  Sociological Imagination* and a Timeline  (15%)                      

Due:   February 12th (on moodle, 10:00 AM).

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).  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).

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 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?

Data Workshop:  Sociological Imagination* and a Timeline 

         Name ________________

Feedback scale:  Very Good (20-18); Good (17-16); Fair, mostly satisfactory (15-14);

Unsatisfactory (13-12); Poor (11-0)


___________________­­­____ Readability of Timeline with interesting Title and content.

_______________________ Timeline:  displays relevance of eight to ten

events/factors being studied.

_______________________ Time span: has details to support two+ generations’ in

Families’ experiences.

_______________________   Application of three major theoretical perspectives.

________________________ Discussion of social patterns in commentary gives

evidence of Sociological Imagination.

________________________ Resources:  have used at least three sources, with

proper citation (MLA or APA, Chicago) for text, graphics and/or images, a Works Cited page.

________________________  Writing Mechanics: organization (paragraphs), grammar, punctuation, spelling, word count 800- 850 in commentary.

______ Grade and Comment: ___________________________________________­­­

Make a timeline with ease!

5 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.

Potential Sources



sample timeline

Tips for Synthesizing Sources