This assignment involves writing a reflective essay. Reflective essays demonstrate a combination of personal narrative and analytical engagement as they relate course material, concepts, and theories to the existing and evolving knowledge, experience, and understanding of the writer.
We are commonly led to believe that the things that happen to us (negative or positive), as well as our own emotions, and even our personal habits and lifestyles, stem from our own individual actions, tastes and personalities. Sociological thinking allows us to see how our own “private troubles,” as C.W. Mills would say, are related in many ways to social structures and the social contexts in which we live.
During the next few weeks we will consider how social structures, power relations, culture, the media, education, social class, and gender, organize and shape our lives in many ways. We will also consider the role of individual agency in bringing about social change.
Considering your own personal biography and how it intersects with the social world, write a 5-page reflective essay on the extent to which, and the ways in which, culture and social structures have shaped your life.
Your “data” for this essay will be course material from readings and lectures as well as your own observations and experience. You may also refer to the experience of members of your family member or close friend.
You will need to be specific, both in your narrative of your own experiences or those of someone close to you, and in referring to terms, concepts and themes from course readings and lectures. Therefore, you should select one or two examples from your own biography to relate to what you have learned in the course. Refer directly to concepts or theories discussed in lectures and readings and explain how you interpret those concepts and how you connect them to your own life.