THE POLITICS OF RACE CLASS & GENDER

Research Paper – Instructions Goal: The goal of this assignment is to apply the conceptual framework we have learned in class to a topic that interests you. Instructions: 1. Identify a topic related to race, class, and or gender. This is really wide open based on your interests. You might choose a more historic event or issue, or you might consider something current you find in the news right now. Note that good papers will narrow their focus to a specific, manageable topic. We will have a chance to discuss possible topic ideas on our discussion board. 2. Do your research. This is a research paper, so you will have to go beyond the course materials in order to get more information. You should make use of academic sources to gather as much information as possible on your topic. While this may imply gathering some current news, you should be relying on sources like academic journal articles and books from the library as your primary sources. 3. Apply the framework. Outline your topic based on the five themes of the conceptual framework found in the Weber text. Brainstorm what you know about your topic and how it fits into each of these areas. Where necessary – you may have to go back and do a bit more research to fill in the gaps 4. Write up your paper. Once you have outlined your topic according to the framework, you are now organized and prepared to write up your paper. Follow the formatting instructions below. 5. Submit your paper! Don’t forget!!! Assessment: This paper will be graded based on the following criteria: • Understanding of the topic • Organization and clarity • Support for your arguments • Quality and proper citation of sources Format: Your paper should be approximately 8-10 pages, typed and double-spaced, and include a properly formatted works cited page. It should include the following sections:• Introduction – start with a brief introduction of your specific topic. Provide just the key information we need to know to understand what the issue is and why it is important. This should only be approximately 1-2 paragraphs. Note: You should have a clearly stated research topic and thesis presented in this introduction. • Analysis – the body, and bulk, of your paper will be spent applying the conceptual framework we have introduced in class: o Historical & Geographical Context – Next, provide the historical and geographic context. Refer to the framework: How does the specific time period and location influence what is going on? o Socially Construction of Ideas – What role does the social construction of race, class and/or gender play in your issue? To what extent are the differences among groups constructed? How are they constructed? o Power Relationships – Who has the power in this situation? How is it being wielded? What resources are being used to advantage one group over another? What resources are the disadvantaged group lacking? o Macro Social-Structural and Micro Social-Psychological Levels – Explain how your issue can be explained by either macro or micro level factors? How is the situation shaped by the ideological, political and economic domains? o Simultaneously Expression – How do the issues of race, class and gender overlap in this situation? How does the individual’s race, class and gender interact and affect their identity? • Conclusion – Having applied the framework to your issue, what conclusions can be drawn? Sum up your key observations and explain the relevance of what you have learned. • Works Cited – Your research paper MUST include a properly formatted works cited page AND in-line citations throughout the paper. Any and all sources used should be cited. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism and your paper will receive a failing grade.

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