Race and Ethnic Minorities: Final Paper Guidelines
“The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise.”
– C. Wright Mills in The Sociological Imagination (1959)
The sociologist C. Wright Mills described the sociological imagination as the ability to understand one’s own personal experiences within a broader social context. The sociological imagination allows us to understand how our personal circumstances are not just shaped by our individual behaviors but also by social forces. Developing a sociological imagination means being able to step out of an individualistic point of view to cast an analytic eye on our social surroundings. Early in the semester you wrote a personal reflection essay. Your task for the final paper is to revisit your personal reflection essay using a sociological perspective.
Using your personal essay as a starting point, and drawing on course materials as well as your own research summaries, reflect on the following:
- What course content do you think can be applied to understanding your personal circumstances and experiences? Why are they relevant? Be sure to make specific references to materials from class and research summaries.
- What course content do you think can be applied to understanding racial and ethnic minorities’ circumstances and experiences that you had not previously considered? Be sure to make specific references to materials from class and research summaries.
- Has your initial understanding of race and ethnicity or racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. changed as a result of the class? Why or why not? Be sure to support your responses with materials from class and research summaries.
Your paper should be in narrative format and no more than four single-spaced pages in Times New Roman (font size 12) in Microsoft Word format with one-inch margins all around. Your name should appear in the top left corner of the first page. A list of references, properly formatted in ASA-style, should appear at the end of the paper (does not count toward page limit).
Grading Rubric (150 points total):
- Addresses each of the three main components outlined in guidelines (30 points)
- Each component is well-supported by specific references to course materials and research summaries (90 points)
- Writing is clear and organized, paper is proofread and free of spelling and grammatical errors, and references are properly cited (30 points)