ASA logo
Sociological Perspectives Active Learning Assignment
Cover Page
Requires Subscription DOCX
Requires Subscription DOCX


Key Words: perspective
conflict theory
symbolic interactionism
group work
active learning
engagement rings
Super Bowl
social media
marijuana usage
community college
Introduction to Sociology
class activity

How to Cite

McSpadden, Jennifer. 2020. “Sociological Perspectives Active Learning Assignment”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, January. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Teaching the three major sociological perspectives in an introductory course can be challenging. The perspectives can be difficult for students to understand, but applying the perspectives to concrete examples can help clarify them. This active learning exercise gives students the opportunity to apply the perspectives to some familiar and interesting...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.


Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

1. Materials

The student handout contains seven topics. Each group should select one of the topics to discuss and present.

2. Timing

This activity is best done after a lecture on the perspectives, so students are familiar with them. I have only used it at the start of the semester, but it would also be effective in the...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. "To think critically, such that the student will be able to: … engage in teamwork where many or different viewpoints are presented" (ASA 2004).
  2. "Communicate effectively the basic theoretical perspectives of sociology by … applying each major theoretical perspective to a current event" (TCCD 2005).

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. During the discussions, the instructor should move around the room, ensuring each student contributes to their group discussions.
  2. Groups demonstrate the ability to apply the perspectives by reporting to the class. They receive feedback from the instructor and other students, which should ensure they addressed each question. A document with sample answers from students is attached.

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

Cover Page
Requires Subscription DOCX
Requires Subscription DOCX

Our website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, to increase the speed and security for the site, to provide analytics about our site and visitors, and for marketing. By proceeding to the site, you are expressing your consent to the use of cookies. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy .