For this assignment, you will be writing an analysis of a film from the list below.  Movies that are not on the list will NOT be accepted. 

Papers must be submitted on Canvas, and must be checked for plagiarism, to receive credit.  Papers that are not submitted, and/or written, as directed in class will not be graded.  MLA and APA formats will be accepted.  If you are using the ebook, you may use the section numbers, rather than page numbers, of the text when citing. 

Also, wherever the directions say “at least” it means that it is the minimum for a passing grade.  You are encouraged to go beyond the minimum. 

Papers must be at least 5 pages, double-spaced, 12 font, with 1” margins.  Please use subheadings and address the following sections:

Introduction

Give a very brief summary of the movie along with the main points you will be making in your paper. (No more than one paragraph. No subheading needed.)

Section 1: Theoretical Perspectives 

Apply at least two theoretical perspectives (Symbolic Interactionism, Functionalism, Conflict Theory) to analyze the movie.  Describe how each perspective would view the main message(s) of the movie, and/or specific parts of the movie.  Be sure to provide: 1) examples from the movie, and as much detail as possible, to support your argument; AND 2) reference passages from the textbook, and/or the class lecture, to support your argument.  You should not only provide a definition and explanation of the theoretical perspective in general, but also the strength of the perspective, how it differs from the other perspectives, and how the theoretical perspective developed in the field of sociology (ie, who are the founders of that perspective and what did they contribute).  Then you can get into the specifics of how that theoretical perspective would view the movie.  Please review Chapter 1 to help you write this section.

Section 2: Sociological Imagination

Apply the sociological imagination to the film.  Examine the social/cultural context portrayed in the movie.  How does the time and location that the movie takes place in shape social life for the characters?  Think about how life would look different for the characters if they lived in a different time or geographical area.  What are the larger social forces of the time/location that shape the character’s lives and their behavior? Think about cross-cultural differences.  

Key Q: How might things be different if the characters were in a different culture or occupied a different social location?  Be sure to provide: 1) examples from the movie, and as much detail as possible, to support your argument; AND 2) reference passages from the textbook, and/or the class lecture, to support your argument.  Strive to provide a variety of explanations accounting for the human behavior shown in the movie.  Please review Chapters 1 and 2 to help you write this section.   

Section 3: Sociological Concepts

Explain how at least three sociological concepts and/or theories are depicted in the movie. Be sure to: 1) reference the textbook to provide a definition or explanation of the concept/theory; 2) bold or underline the concept/theory the first time you state it; and 3) provide detailed examples from the movie of that concept/theory (show how the concept/theory can be applied to the movie).  If you are unsure of what counts as a “concept,” just look for the terms that are in bold in the textbook.  Please review Chapters 3 thru 6 (and beyond) for this section. 

Section 4: Research Methods

Propose a research study based on the movie. (You will not actually conduct this study.) Based on the movie topic, you will be inspired to design your own research project.  Review steps #1, 2, 4, and 5 of the research model and provide a detailed description of how your proposed study will cover each of these steps.  You will be clarifying your topic, defining the more specific problem you’re examining, providing a hypothesis, and choosing a research method for your study.  Be sure to provide as much detail as possible, especially when describing your research method.  Be sure to explain why you chose that particular research method over other methods.  What are the advantages and disadvantages?  How can disadvantages be minimized?    

Also describe one other method you could have chosen for your study.  Explain the details that method would have entailed, the pros and cons of that method, and the type of knowledge/information it would have allowed you to gain.  Explain how it would have changed your research results in comparison to the method you originally chose.  Please review Chapter 1 for this section. 

Conclusion

Summarize which social forces were most prominent in shaping, guiding, and influencing individual or group behavior in the film. Describe the sociological insight you gained from this assignment.  Did it make you think about sociology, sociological concepts/theories/perspectives, or the research process in a different way? 

Movie List

Select 1 movie from the list below.  

Please be sure to review the rating and content warning of the movie prior to watching it.  Some films on this list are very graphic.  Select a movie you feel comfortable watching.

The movies are listed under a specific chapter to give you an idea of general concepts they are related to.  However, this is a loose generalization and the movies address various chapters covered in the class.  You should strive to show the vast array of sociological concepts present in the film.  Do not rely only on the concepts in the chapter your movie is listed under. 

Sociological Perspective – Chapter 1

Always Be My Maybe (2019) rated PG-13

The Prom (2020) rated PG-13

Culture – Chapter 2

Grease (1978) rated PG

The Help (2011) rated PG-13

Socialization – Chapter 3

Chef (2014) rated R

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013) rated PG-13

Social Structure, Groups, and Organizations – Chapters 4 & 5

The Founder (2016) rated PG-13

The Social Network (2010) rated PG-13

Deviance and Social Control – Chapter 6

Goodfellas  (1990) rated R

Catch Me If You Can (2002) rated PG-13

Global Stratification – Chapter 7

Lion (2016) rated PG-13

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) rated R

Social Class in the U.S. –  Chapter 8

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) rated PG-13

Under the Same Moon (2007) rated PG-13

Race and Ethnicity  – Chapter 9

12 Years a Slave (2013) rated R

Django Unchained (2012) rated R

Movies Gender and Age – Chapter 10

Selena (1997) rated PG

Lady Bird (2017) rated R