As a student in the course, you are required to write a series of Discussion Group posts on the course materials (readings). This week, your post should focus on race & ethnicity. Your initial post is due on Friday by 11:59pm. You will then reply to at least two of your discussion group members’ posts in order to provide analytical feedback/comments. The goal of this feedback is to help your peers think sociologically and apply sociological insights. You can also respond to any questions they pose. Your peer feedback/comments are due by Sunday at 11:59pm. Details on the discussion posts follow. Please be sure to meet the specified criteria, including deadlines, as they will be used to grade your posts/feedback. Also, please read the grading rubric, which is available below; the rubric links the assignment criteria to the points you can earn for successfully meeting the criteria.
Initial Post (due Friday at 11:59pm)
Your posts are NOT SUMMARIES OF THE READINGS. Instead, you should focus on one concept or idea expressed in one or two of the readings for the week in which you’re writing. The gist of the assignment is for you to engage—in an analytically sound way—with concepts or ideas that we cover in the course. In doing so, I recommend that you focus on how a given reading (or set of readings) illuminates specific mechanisms that serve in the production (or amelioration) of inequality. You are encouraged to link the concept(s) to other material you’ve read in or outside of this course, such as readings from other courses you’ve taken, magazine articles, news reports, online videos/blogs, political cartoons, or any other aspect of popular culture–I will often provide news articles or videos that you can apply course concepts to in your discussion posts. Note that when I provide newspaper articles or videos, these are the materials to which you should apply sociological concepts–the concepts themselves are found in our course readings, typically in the Ore text. You could also link what we’ve read to an experience you’ve had in your own life. The goal is to demonstrate that you’ve understood what we’ve read and can apply the sociological insights from our materials to the real world in a way that helps explain some aspect of power/inequality. Finally, you should conclude with a question or two that you think would foster further sociological discussion. Your initial posts should be 300-500 words. They must follow the parameters in the rubric.
Peer Feedback (due Sunday at 11:59pm)
You are required to provide feedback to at least two of your discussion group peers. In your feedback, try to be helpful, pointing out strengths that exist in your peers’ posts. Also provide feedback/comments that help strengthen the sociological content of their posts. The goal is to use online discussion to help enhance everyone’s sociological understanding of power and social inequalities. These posts should be at least 100 words and are worth 5 points for each one. They must follow the parameters in the rubric.
Too many students tend to only discuss a video clip or other Web resource and, in so doing, only describe social phenomena. Your task is not merely to describe, but to also explain why social phenomena exist as they do. Remember, this is a course in sociology; please emphasize sociological understandings/perspectives in order to explain things when writing your initial posts, reflecting upon concepts, and providing feedback to each other. This means grounding your comments in our class readings, especially those from the Ore text and academic journal articles (the newspaper articles and videos I provide are useful to describing things, but should be linked to more analytical course readings when you discuss them). Finally, you should be careful to cite properly all sources you use. You can find information on citing at the Purdue Owl’s website dedicated to ASA citation style (Links to an external site.); pay special attention to their information on “in-text citations” and “reference page” formatting. You don’t have to have a separate reference page–simply put “References” at the bottom of your posts, and then list the materials that you’ve cited there. Note that our course text by Tracey Ore is cited as a “chapter in an edited volume.” This means you cite the author of the specific chapter we’re reading–Tracey Ore is the editor for the text.
Below is a sample citation (that goes in “references” section at end of post) for a reading from the Ore text. Note that the only information to change for other selections are the author, selection title, and the page ranges. Thus, the material highlighted in yellow stays the same for ALL readings taken from the Ore text. Of course, when you put the references in your own posts, please do not highlight in yellow.
Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. 2019. “Racial Formations.” Pp. 19-26 in The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, 7th Ed, edited by Tracy E. Ore. NY: Oxford University Press.
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