Sociological Imagination Course Project For this assignment, you will apply the sociological ideas to a contemporary issue.



Sociology 110: Sociological Imagination Course Project


Article selection: October 16 (Wed. CVS2) & October 21 (Mon. CVS1 & CRS1)

Bring a copy of the story to class. Failing to do so will result in a one point deduction.

Assignment submission: November 13th (CVS2) & November 18th (CVS1 & CRS1)

Value: 25%

Length: 1250-2000 words (4-6 pages)



For this assignment, you will apply the sociological ideas to a contemporary issue. To do this, you will select a news story that explains a case in which one or more people experienced a significant challenge and, with the help of research, use your sociological imagination to analyze the situation. You will then consider how two different organizations would address this type of problem. The purpose of the assignment is understand social issues and the different ways groups of people work to tackle them.


To be successful, you should choose a story from a mainstream & credible media source that reflects issues many people face. The article must be about one person or a small group of people. There are some suggestions below to help guide your choice; you may choose a story related to one of the topic examples or one of your own thinking. The issue must be of notable importance so you can analyze the social forces & structures that create these circumstances. The story need not be long or detailed to work. It may be from any place in the world. Please bring a hard copy of the media story by the due date outlined above or schedule an appointment to have it reviewed (emailed news stories cannot be accepted). The instructor must approve your story selection, so ensure that the article includes a title & author. Only one student may write on the each matter.


Strong Media Story Examples

A person experiences racist taunts

A family cannot afford to rent a house that’s appropriate for their family size

A teenager experiences bullying on social media

A woman fears walking outside alone at night

A group of people have been displaced by climate change


Poor Media Story Examples

Stories about people’s rare health issues

Stories that don’t obviously talk about affected humans

Editorials or commentaries

Sensational(ized) matters

Exposes (may be of use as a literature source)

Stories about large(r) groups of people (countries, ethnic groups, women, etc.)



To submit your assignment, you should structure your paper using the following three subheadings:

(1) The Challenge; (2) Analysis & Literature Review; (3) Confronting the Problem


The Challenge

In this section of your assignment, you will summarize the problem outlined in the article. You should try to be succinct, but provide sufficient detail to make the case study clear for the reader. Recommended word count: 150-250


Analysis & Literature Review

In this section, you will analyze the person or group’s circumstances by outlining the larger social forces that have contributed to their problem. To do this, you will use at least four outside sources (two must be scholarly sociology sources and the other two must be good quality sources) that help explain the social systems shaping this phenomenon. After describing the broader problem, you should explain how the scholars help us to make sense of this problem. In other words, you want to imagine that you’re a sociologist using the sociological imagination to provide a bigger picture understanding of the world using a case study and the literature together. You could consider such questions as: what contributed to these circumstances?; what are the underlying causes?; how do the scholars suggest other people are affected?; how do they believe governments have acted to make these circumstances possible?; etc.

Recommended word count: 1200-1500


Confronting the Problem

In this section, you will compare two organizations that work to address the type of problem evidenced in your new story: one organization that takes more of a charitable approach and one that takes an approach more rooted in justice as defined by Burton & Barnes (2017; link below). You should briefly describe each organization’s mandate, which one is charity-oriented & which is justice-oriented, a couple of criterial that helped you make this determination, and how you came to this conclusion by pointing to one thing that each group is doing that would help the people detailed in your article.

Recommended word count: 300-400


Burton, Dorian and Brian Barnes. 2017. Shifting Philanthropy From Charity to Justice. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Available:


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