Sociology 319

Winter 2000

First Paper (15 points)

Due: February 10, 2000


Select one of the following topics and write a paper on this topic. The paper should clearly explain and discuss the topic chosen.

The paper should be approximately than five typewritten double-spaced pages. In a paper of this length there should not be too many quotes. Do not rely on quotes to make the arguments for you, and explain the concepts and ideas in your own words. Where you do use quotes or references, these should be properly cited. If you use only the text, this may be cited like (Turner, p. 47). If you use other sources, complete citations should be provided in footnotes or at the end of the paper in one of the standard referencing styles. Provide a bibliography of the sources you have used.

Avoid using "man" and "he" in the generic sense, except where they are part of a direct quote. Otherwise, if you use "man" or "he" I will assume you are referring to males only.



  1. Ethnomethodology and symbolic interaction perspectives differ in their approach. Write a paper explaining how these two perspectives differ.
  2. Explain how both praxis and subjective consciousness are concepts that appear in Mead’s approach.
  3. Each classical writer has a somewhat different conception of what is social. Outline and compare these.
  4. Select one or more of Weber, Parsons, Giddens, or Goffman and explain how a theory that focuses on individual action can also explain social structures.
  5. Provide one or more examples of situations or experiences that illustrate social performance. Explain how these relate to Goffman’s dramaturgical approach.
  6. Explain how writers in the symbolic interaction tradition use and develop the pragmatic approach.
  7. Select one of the articles handed out or on the internet, summarize its arguments, and show how the article illustrates relevant ideas presented in the text.
  8. Explain how rational choice theory can be considered to come from Weber, but at the same time differs from the approach of Weber.


Handed out on January 13, 2000.

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