Option 1 invites you to analyze one instance in the world in which you observe cultural
variation or diversity that ultimately results in inequity, to use theories from the class to better
analyze the way social ecologies shape inequities in the world, and to make some sort of
recommendation to key stakeholders as to how to address this issue. Your purpose is to reveal
how sociological and developmental theories can help us understand the social construction of
particular problems or inequities and to account for these in seeking ways to address them.
Part 1: Analysis
Your analysis should focus on:
- One social problem that is rooted in inequities that are related to cultural variation.
(see previous lectures for examples).
- One or two forms of media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, advertisements, websites
[governmental, NGO, or popular websites are all acceptable])
- You must include at least 5 media sources- each of which is relevant to the social
- For example, 5 news stories about the ways racial inequities in health and the
way different groups encounter different challenges to their health.
- These will be the dataset that you will analyze to reveal the cultural side of
the social problem.
- You could compare and contrast portrayals between different sources (e.g.,
the portrayal by public health organizations [CDC/WHO] vs. the portrayal by
the media), but this is optional
- As you analyze your data, consider questions like
- How do different groups in society understand and portray the problem?
- How do these diverse portrayals reflect the different perspectives
that one can have in this issue, and what informs those perspectives?
- Within these different perspectives, what value judgments are made
about the social problem, and how are these shaped by particular
cultural beliefs and frameworks?
- What purpose do these cultural frameworks serve (who benefits?)?
- How is this problem shaped by various factors at different levels in
the socio-ecological environment (macro, meso, micro and chrono)?