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Creating and Challenging the Status Quo
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political sociology

How to Cite

Stokes, DaShanne. 2012. “Creating and Challenging the Status Quo”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, May. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Rules that sustain many forms of domination are typically created and imposed by the state. Laws can be used to stabilize power, especially by means of the state’s bureaucratic apparatus and by means of its coercive resources for monitoring and enforcing compliance. But domination and effects of rules are never total--people have agency and can resist. In...

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Subject Area(s):
Political Sociology
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
College 400
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

My students loved this activity. I found it helpful to distribute flyers describing the activity (using the first two pages of the acitivity as a hand-out or "flyer") beforehand so that students would be aware of what we were doing and so they could ask questions before starting.

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will learn to compare and contrast different theories of political sociology concerning rule making, rule breaking, and power.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Instructors assess student understanding through in-class discussion during the activity, drawing upon student questions and responses as indicators of understanding and analytical ability, and through essay exam questions. Samples included.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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