Sociological Research

Sociological Research
For this project, you will apply the sociological methods and concepts you have learned in this
course. Please complete one of the three options provided. The project will be worth 100 points. For
each option you may choose to write a paper, create a presentation, a website, or a video. If you
choose to write a paper it must be a minimum of 1500 words. If you choose to create a video, or an
oral presentation you must submit your script as well as the multimedia, audio, or video file and your
content must be equivalent to a 1500 word paper.
Be sure to cite any sources you use for your information and DO NOT COPY information
directly from your sources.
Check the Web Resources in your online course for guidelines on researching, writing, and
citing sources.
Option 1:
Attend a meeting, session, or activity of a group to which you belong. Likely groups would be a
family gathering, a school club, an athletic team, a church group, or an online community. Conduct a
participant observation study of the group. (Refer to Lesson 1 and Chapter 1 in your textbook for a
review of observational studies.)
Create a presentation or write a paper in which you answer the following questions:
 What technologies (physical objects) does the group use?
 What symbols are associated with the group?
 How do group members communicate?
 What are the group’s values?
 What are the group’s norms?
 What is your status in the group, and what are your roles?
 Who are the leaders, or authority figures, in the group, and what kind of authority do they
 What roles, if any, are associated with gender in the group?
 What roles, if any, are associated with age in the group?
 What needs does the group meet, and how does the group meet these needs?

Option 2:
Watch two movies—one that was made before 1950 and one that was made after 2000. Treat each
film as a detached observational study and create a presentation or write a paper in which you do a
cultural comparison between the two. For each movie, answer the following questions.
 What technologies are shown in the film?

Project 2
 How are symbols and language used in the film, and how do characters communicate?
 What values are shown in the film?
 What norms are shown in the film?
Do you notice any cultural differences between the two films? If so, what are they? What are the
differences? What are the similarities?
You should set your paper up as an essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. In the
introduction, note the movies you are going to compare and provide a brief synopsis of each one.
Note when each movie was made. In the body, answer the above questions and describe the
elements of culture shown in each film. In your conclusion, summarize what is different and what is
similar about the cultural elements shown in the films. Be sure to cite any direct quotations
(dialogue) properly. Use the APA Style Manual—find it in your local library or find a guide online.

Option 3:
Prepare a questionnaire of three questions that ask for personal opinions about a local social,
political, or economic matter.
Choose a social group to which you belong, and make a hypothesis about how membership in the
group will affect views on the issue. Administer your questionnaire to at least five members of your
group. (If you are not having every member complete a questionnaire, select members at random.)
Administer your questionnaire to an equal number of people who are NOT members of your group
but who ARE members of the same locality. Do your results suggest a correlation between
membership in your group and a certain view on the issue?
For this option, compile these components in a presentation or research paper of at least 1500
 A summary of the issue you are discussing. Describe it accurately, with different positions
explained honestly and fairly. Someone with no previous knowledge of the issue should be
able to understand it from your description.
 A hypothesis that notes independent and dependent variables. (Refer to Chapter 1 in your
textbook to review hypotheses.)
 Your questionnaire. (Questions should show no bias and should not be worded in such a
way as to sway opinions.)
 A table or graph showing the results of your survey.
 A conclusion of what, if any, correlation may exist between membership in your group and a
certain view on the issue.

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