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The final project for this course is the creation of a position statement through analysis.
For this assessment, you will assume the role of a research assistant for a social advocacy group (of your own creation) that focuses on issues related to crime and violence. Your manager has tasked you with a project to clearly articulate the group’s position on a given issue related to crime and violence. The position statement will support the ultimate goal of the social advocacy group.
You will choose one of the five following topics:
• Decriminalization of responsible drug use
• Intervention on the issue of campus rape
• Awareness of the use of prisons as mental health institutions
• Addressing the militarization of police
• Countering institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system
If there is an issue that you feel strongly about representing that is not on this list, you may focus on that issue with prior instructor approval.
You will need to consider the historical context of your chosen issue; particularly preconceived notions and those notions affect current public perception. You will then challenge the accuracy of these notions through the application of sociological theory and supporting evidence. Exploring crime and violence in this way informs social advocacy and social justice efforts in a wide array of venues.
You select the medium of your choosing to achieve the project goals: a paper, a podcast, or a YouTube presentation.
For software to create a podcast, check out the free recording and editing software Audacity to record a statement in MP3 format. Help with Audacity can be found in the tutorials here. Many computers, tablets, and smartphones also have the capacity to record a voice file. Free apps also exist if you have a tablet or smartphone; simply search “voice recorder.”
For software to create a video presentation, many computers come with the capacity to record a video and preloaded programs that support using your webcam. Alternatively, YouTube has a record feature on its upload page.
Note: For assistance in creating a YouTube account and for instructions on how to create a video, review the following resources: Guide to Creating a YouTube Account and Guide to Uploading a Video to YouTube.
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, and Five. Your comprehensive project will be submitted in Module Seven.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
Analyze views of crime and violence from a historical perspective for their impact on today’s societies, cultures, andindividuals
Challenge current stereotypes regarding crime and violence using evidence from observations and other resources
Determine how the reactions to crime and violence have evolved over time supported by sociological theory
Communicate results of analyses on crime and violence issues adhering to ethical requirements and other best practices regarding sociological research
For your position paper, podcast, or video, you will represent the position of a newly formed social advocacy group on a specific issue related to crime and violence and support that position through the application of sociological theory and evidence. Your position will challenge preconceived notions around this issue by investigating their history and how they have evolved over time. The goal of this project is to promote awareness around your chosen issue and encourage support for your social advocacy group.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Introduction: In this section you will introduce your audience to the crime and violence issue you have chosen. You will develop a statement that establishes your position on your chosen issue. Be sure to employ appropriate ethical considerations and best practices when communicating your introduction.
Provide a brief overview of your chosen issue regarding crime and violence. Explain the impact of the issue related to social roles within social institutions.
Based on your chosen issue, discuss the focus of this position paper in terms of how it aligns with the ultimate goal of the social advocacy group. In other words, what are you trying to accomplish by exploring this crime and violence issue?
Briefly discuss the evidence that you will use in the analysis of the issue.
Briefly introduce the theory that you will use in the analysis of the issue.
Develop a statement that communicates your social advocacy group’s position on the issue.
II.Analysis: Now that you have identified a crime and violence issue, analyze evidence and apply sociological theory to communicate and support your position. Be sure to employ appropriate ethical considerations and best practices when constructing your analysis.
Articulate, in detail, your social advocacy group’s position regarding the issue. Your description should be written in a way that leads into your evidence and theory application.
Evaluate prevalent stereotypes regarding the issue. Be sure to address the validity, effects, and persistence of these stereotypes. (Use examples from news articles, popular media, or personal experience.)
Describe recent social change regarding the issue and support your response with examples. (Also, use examples from the media and personal experience.)
Analyze historical interpretations of the issue within relevant social structures (i.e., social institutions and culture) and support your analysis with evidence. In other words, where did the stereotypes originate in relation to society at the time? (Use scholarly sources as evidence.)
Analyze modern interpretations of the issue within relevant social structures (i.e., social institutions and culture) and support your analysis with evidence. How has this issue changed in society and where do we stand today? (Use scholarly sources as evidence here as well).
Apply appropriate sociological theory to historical and modern interpretations of the issue to support your overall analysis. (Use scholarly sources or relevant course material needed to support.)
III. Conclusion: In this section of the position paper you will summarize the key points of your analysis while adhering to appropriate ethical standards and best practices.
A. Describe the ethical challenges in analyzing the issue, supporting your response with examples.
B. Review the key points of your analysis, and make a universal statement about your position regarding the issue. Consider summarizing insights
and perspectives that were gained through the incorporation of evidence.
C. Determine possible solutions that would be effective in lessening the negative impact of the issue on society. D. Communicate your final position on this issue supported by the findings of your analysis.