Assignment 1 (20 Points)

Write a 3-5 page essay explaining or analyzing an issue from the sociological perspective, showing how the issue can be understood in terms of the historical, cultural, structural, organizational, and situational forces that shape it.  Use your "sociological imagination" to explain the issue by discussing how it is influenced or affected by institutional structures (political, economic, religious, educational, familial, etc.); social inequality and stratification (economic, racial, gender, or age); and/or cultural values, beliefs, norms, rites, and rituals.  Avoid individualistic or psychological explanations.  You may use whatever resources you wish to help stimulate your "sociological imagination," but no specific number of resources is required.  The emphasis is on your ability to explain or make sense of the problem or issue sociologically whether you use own ideas or borrow ideas from others.  If you use outside resources, be sure to cite them appropriately.