Applying Theory to Current Events


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This assignment is a final cumulative paper that evaluates how well students in an undergraduate theory class can describe basic theoretical concepts and then apply these ideas to a contemporary social issue or event. We offer two similar takes on the same basic framework.


Resource Type(s):
Gregory Trainor Kordsmeier, Indiana University Southeast
Cameron Macdonald, Harvard university 
Date Published:
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Usage Notes:

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While the attached file specifies that students will apply the theories they learn to the 2012 US presidential election, it can be adapted to a wide variety of topics. Past topics have included the passage of the Affordable Care Act, passage of Arizona SB1070, and the increasing number of states...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of the theoretical ideas of two sociological theorists or schools of sociological theory.
Assessment 1:
Students will turn in a paper that is evaluated on all three of these learning goals.
Goal 2:
Students will apply those concepts to a contemporary social issue or event.
Goal 3:
Students will evaluate which theoretical argument is more convincing in explaining the social issue or event in question.

Files for Download:

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Applied Theory Projects.pdf
Applying Theory Kordsmeier.pdf
Applying Theory Macdonald1.pdf
Applying Theory Rubric.pdf