Research Essay Assignment: Critical Reading, Thinking and Writing

Research Essay Assignment: Critical Reading, Thinking and Writing

Argument; Research; Sexuality and Social Change; Power and Sexualized Bodies Research Essay Assignment: Critical Reading, Thinking and Writing MAX. MARKS: 30% DUE DATE: THURSDAY, MAY 25 • Argument: Engaged students will develop skills that will help you to make an argument and learn to distinguish between fact, theory and opinion. In addition, students will learn to discuss the role of each (fact, theory and opinion) in analyzing, writing and debating sexualities and identities. • Research: Engaged students will gain research skills that will enable you to develop a critical analysis in order to distinguish between sexuality and desire, as they are socially and morally regulated and as they are personally experienced. In short, who tells us what is right or wrong and for what purpose? • Sexuality and Social Change: Engaged students will use the course concepts to explore how social changes to sexual norms are evident in many aspects of society such as institutions that produce laws, pop culture, and education-and hopefully such interrogations will create a shift in what you consider to be normal. • Power and Sexualized Bodies: Engaged students will learn to identify power relations and how such power produces inequalities through mainstream notions of what is ‘normal’. This can include analyses of aboriginality, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and disability as they relate to sexualized bodies. We will explore this through topics such as sex work, sexuality and military, the sexualization of Asians and the Black sexualized body. Topics: Choose a topic and as you read, think about which articles will support your topic. • Social construction of sexualities and everyday life, for example any one of the following: yours, or the media, or literature, or healthcare, or family, or work. • Moral and social regulation of sexualities that relate to the following question: What are the social, political and historic conditions of possibility for (fill in the blank here) sexuality to be coded as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’? • Racialized sexualities and everyday experiences that examine: how different bodies are represented in written and visual texts in any one of the following: the media or music or literature or policing or websites. • Sex as a class construct: how does one’s sexual identity intersect with other aspects of personal and political identities such as class? • Sexualities and social institution, for example one of the following: the military or education or religion. • Sexualities and the media (this does not apply to ‘beauty myth’ or body image unless it is framed explicitly as sexualized): newspaper/magazines Note: The topic, “pornography” is not acceptable. If you choose a topic other than one from the above list, make sure you have approval from me. Choose a topic from the list above or from the course readings. 4 You are writing an argumentative essay grounded in critical thinking. You will have to take a position on the subject and clearly argue for or from that position (not discuss a subject). Take a position, make an argument and demonstrate that you have learnt how to distinguish between fact, theory, assumptions and opinions. Support your argument with evidence (e.g. the course materials and academic sources). You are expected to bring together the ideas, thoughts, and concepts in which we have engaged and produce an analytical and critical piece of writing that analyzes aspects of sexualities and identities in Canadian society. Note: You are required to write 6-8 pages, excluding the Title Page and References. Please underline the thesis statement. Introduction • State the question/main focus (thesis statement) your paper will address. What you were researching and why. • State the argument/s developed to support your statement. • Review the methodology (how you selected the studies or literature/ theoretical perspectives to be included). • A brief statement of your findings and theoretical perspective/s that you will use to support your arguments. Argument-Literature Review –Theory Your argument should be supported by literature and theory. Argument should also be supported by the application of at least TWO theories and relevant literature (at least THREE) that you have reviewed. Literature Review: Argument should be supported by at least THREE relevant reviews of academic and sociological literature – In each review summary include what was studied, how it was studied and what was found. Reference often and properly. – Do not copy or use quotes from your research sources, or simply describe a problem. You must argue and support your thesis. You must engage the sources and critically apply them to your argument (i.e., thesis). You are required to: – Use at least THREE scholarly academic sociological source. – Use maximum sources from 2010 to 2017 (at least TWO are required). Scholarly academic sources include peer reviewed journal articles and academic books. All proposals are due in-class, before the lecture starts. Papers are to be double-spaced, Times New Roman, Font 12 pt., Title page and references (APA format) are required. Only stapled papers will be accepted. Use headings for each section of the paper: Introduction, Argument, Critical Sociological Analysis, Conclusion, References. 5 Application of Theories: – Everyone is required to refer to Class 2 & 3 readings from the course for your theoretical framework (social constructionist, critical/conflict, feminism…. moral regulation theory etc.). – The theory used should be clearly stated and applied to the subject (not merely implied). Critical Sociological Analysis Critical sociological analysis provides critique of policies and practices or normative and mainstream assumptions. Your analysis should start by explaining: • Why and how this issue occurs (social, historical, political or economic context); • Examine the processes by which this issue is legitimated or stigmatized or deemed as normative (depending on the subject) and its impact; and • Outline the policies and practices (if any) in Canada that prevent effective solution to the issue and its impact. While you are required to cite any sources used in this section, you are able to primarily voice your own opinions and challenge the mainstream assumptions and practices. Conclusion: Summarize and bring together the main points. You can also make recommendations and propose solutions. References: Contains all sources used in the literature review or in other sections. You are expected to use only the APA 6th edition manual to learn about referencing (copies are in the library); I discourage you from using websites as these may not be vetted for correct formatting / information. Other Instructions for the Content • You are expected to be able to use the course concepts with confidence, reference the appropriate articles and strongly argue your points. KEY: Please think about how we have discussed the ways in which our bodies are constantly regulated. How do you make sense of your individual identity, the identity of others (in terms of your subject position)? How do you speak about/socially construct, your and other’s identities: within your families, in your communities and in the everyday interactions with other people? • Further (here is where you develop a much stronger analysis), analyze your understanding of the sexual identity about which you are writing and use the course materials /other literature to back up your points and your argument. • Make sure you address how concepts of representation; normal/not normal; right/wrong are shaped in society; for example, in the media, newspapers, movies, schools, families, churches, and/or the legal system. In other words, consider how you critically analyze your paper topic in relation to the society in which you live. • Ask yourself how social messages are constructed and (re) produced and what are the effects (political/public/private/personal). You are not meant to detail and solve the problems of the world, rather question how they came to be and analyze their effect. • Important: You need to provide evidence for your claims and literature/articles are necessary for this. You could also think about the specific conditions that any social movements have had on shifting sexual norms (for example: Stonewall, Bill C-38, Black liberation, the women’s movement, the G20 protests). Note: use the reference of the original article cited in the course reader and in the Text. Do not cite what I say about an article; consult the original article for citations. You may use “I” as long as it is NOT followed by “think” or “believe”. Use ‘I’ followed by for example- “I will demonstrate…”, “I contend….”.