Sociology 250

Third Short Paper

Due: December 11 or 20, 1995

Choose one of the following topics and write a short paper on this topic. The paper should be no longer than five typewritten double-spaced pages. While you should not use too many quotes in a short paper, where you use quotes or refe rences, these should be properly cited. If you use only the sources listed on the class syllabus, these can be cited like (Ritzer, p. 27) or (Perspectives, pp. 34-35). If you use other sources, complete citations should be provided in footnotes or at the end of the paper. 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.

The paper is due at the time of the final examination, December 20. However, if you wish to have the rewrite option, or wish to know the grade on the paper before writing the final examination, the paper should be handed in to CL217 or CL230 by Decembe r 11.


1. Equilibrium and order are important aspects of Parsons' theoretical analysis. Explain some of the ways that Parsons considers these to operate in society and explain why they are important in his model.

2. Choose one of the authors or approaches in the sections of the course after Durkheim and present a critical analysis of the author or approach. Some of the authors are Parsons, Davis and Moore, Simmel, Mead, Blumer, Denzin, Goffman, Garfinkel, Mi lls, Wright, Habermas and Kroker. Some of these approaches are structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, and postmodernism. Where possible, comment on how the author or approach fits among the major sociological perspectives.

3. Choose one of the feminist approaches and present a summary of this approach. Where possible, point out some of the consequences of the approach for the theoretical perspectives discussed earlier in the semester.

4. Write a feminist critique of one of the conventional sociological perspectives, or alternatively, from one of the conventional approaches write a critique of one of the feminist perspectives.

5. The Marxist approach to the study of society often ignores women and women's activities in society. Yet many of the feminist approaches to the study of women and society use language or approaches that come from Marxism. Discuss some of the influ ences of Marxist language and concepts within feminist thought, showing how feminist theorists use these concepts as a means of presenting their own ideas.

6. "Microsociological approaches add to our understanding of social interaction but are flawed and incomplete explanations of society that are unable to explain social change." Discuss one of the microsociological approaches in the light of this sta tement.

7. "Macrosociological approaches add to our understanding of society but are flawed and incomplete explanations of society that are unable to explain social interaction." Discuss one of the macrosociological approaches in the light of this statement .

8. Select an issue of current interest in Saskatchewan or Canada, and show how one or more of the theoretical perspectives of the course could make a useful contribution to understanding and explaining this issue.

  1. If you would like to write on some other topic related to sociological theory check with me first concerning the suitability of the topic and how you might approach the topic.


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