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Your task will be to apply the sociological imagination to your family life by creating a family sociological autobiography. Remember that this is...

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Family Socioautobiography Assignment A Sociological Perspective The goal of this assignment is to show the relationship between your personal circumstances and the larger social historical context of your family. Your task will be to apply the sociological imagination to your family life by creating a family sociological autobiography. Remember that this is not an autobiography but a family socioautobiography you must apply the sociology. Write about your family life in relation to the “bigger sociological picture” by using sociological concepts when appropriate. The most difficult part will be starting your paper and then you will probably have too much to say. Try to forget about our typical individualistic perspective. Remember that I will be reading this assignment and you may not want to include information that is too personal. Further details about this task will be provided in class. This task is worth 50pts toward your final exam! Approximate due date is March 26, 2010. Ask yourself what C.W. Mills asks: How do biography and history intersect? Or consider some of the following ideas: What social institutions play a role in your family’s life? How has social structure or socialization affected your personal story and your family’s story? What cultural events have played a role in your family’s life? What was happening in the world the day you were born? How is it different from the time that your parents were born? Requirements: Be sure to interview somebody who is a grandparent (age 60 and up) and a parent (age 40-60). As you interview the individual(s) be sure to try to understand their own story (within a historical time frame). Step outside of your own box and allow them to express their views/opinions about how their idea about family and marriage has been influenced by their social environment. Overall, your task is to try to find out about each of these individual’s family life. The following questions are given to guide your written narrative: Ask them about family background (social class, economic background) Age of marriage How did relationships develop? Ask them to describe some traditional family patterns, gender expectations, or marriage traditions Describe some family norms, values, beliefs How did they view divorce? Was it even an “option?” How accepting where they of homosexual marriages or biracial marriage/families? Did they cohabit before marriage? How did they raise their children? What values or norms did they want to pass on to their children? What was adulthood like for them?
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Was family violence or abuse seen as a private matter? Did it happen? How did families deal with abuse or violence? Did they face economic struggles? Be sure to describe the struggles. What did they view as the most significant challenge you had to deal with in your family? What were some of the particular concerns and problems you considered for marriage and family? How did they feel about working mothers? What about single parenthood families? What were your plans for the future of your family? Ask them to describe any difficulties they encountered in regards to family life? What role did the government/religion/race/ethnicity/social class/ age, or gender play in their family decision making? What were some advantages/disadvantages to having a family back then as compared to today? What advice do you have for couples today that may want to start a family? Once you have completed the interviews be sure to write up a family socioautobiography for each. Your task is to summaries your interpretation of the interview for each. Finally, write up what you think “your family life” will be like. Try to reflect upon your family’s biography as well as the current changes in family structure to come to a conclusion. Other requirements: Create a title page (your name and the name of this task) Be sure your paper has an introduction, body, and a conclusion Bold the sociological concepts you apply (focus on quality rather than quantity) This task is due by March 26, 2010. For each day this task is late I will deduct 5 points. No e-mailed assignment will be accepted. 3-5 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman The following excerpt on a socioautobiography is taken directly from: Kanagy, C. L., & Kraybill, D. B., (1999). The Riddles of Human Society . Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. (Pp. 287, 288,289). Socioautobiography You may want to focus on several events, special moments, or important relationships in your life that have impacted you in significant ways. Recall key themes, events, or circumstances that have contributed to the construction of your identity. You may want to discuss the importance of some of the following influences: significant others, family structure, residence (urban, suburban, rural), ethnicity, religion, social status, group memberships, economic status, leisure, work, death, and crises. Regardless of which themes you discuss, be sure to interpret them with some of the sociological concepts that have been introduced throughout the book. Questions like the following may be appropriate: how have social forces—groups, larger social trends, and cultural values—molded my behavior and world view? In what sense am I both a produce and producers of culture? How has my family background expanded or restricted my opportunities and life chances? How might I be different had I been born into another culture? What have been the most influential social forces in my life? In crafting a socioautobiography, we have the opportunity to reflect on the construction of our self-identity. Only as we begin to understand how we have been socially created can we become fully empowered to act. Many of us go through life repeating patterns given to us by the faces in our mirror without realizing that we have the
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