The purpose of this assignment is to recognize sociological concepts at

play in your lived experience. Keeping a field log of your social and

institutional experiences for one day, you will critically discuss how

your daily life is shaped and constrained by society. This will allow

you engage with many of the sociological concepts learned in class.

Writing expectations

The paper should be 4-6 typed pages (1100-1650), Cite 4 sources with in-text citations, double-spaced, 12-point font, with

1″ margins. Remember to use APA format to cite and reference your



1) Observation

Create a field log (example). For one day, observe and record the key

interactions and institutions in your lived experience. Starting with

waking up, who is the first person you talk to? What do you do next-

take family members to school, go to the gym, go to work and interact

with coworkers? Throughout the day you will take on different roles by

interacting with different people and in different situations, and be in

contact with different social institutions (education, government,

health, etc). Type or photograph your field log and submit it with your

written Assignment.

2) Application

Try to wait one or more days before starting this step. Revisit your

field log and apply sociological analysis to your observations.

Describe how our day is shaped and constrained by social norms.

Analyze how at least four sociological concepts learned in class (eg.

roles, institutions, interactions, impression management, stage theory,

emotional labor) apply to your field log observations. This part of the

paper should not be focused on the general social norms you described

earlier, dig in with specific concepts in this from our text (refrain

from using dictionaries).

For at least two of the concepts, find and incorporate an appropriate

source that highlights how sociologists study this concept in everyday

society (for example, emotional labor in the restaurant industry). Not

sure what constitutes an appropriate source? See our Announcement on

this in the classroom- tips and a learning module are provided there.

For example, we discussed gender socialization:

In an article by Crespi (2011) that studied gender socialization and

gender roles within the family, results showed that a cross-gender

relationship between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons has emerged

as significant in determining traditional and non-traditional gender

attitudes. The research suggested that the relationship with the parent

of the opposite sex could be a strong factor in reducing stereotyped

attitudes regarding gender roles (Crespi, 2011). *Use a different

example in your paper, the purpose here is to show your research skills

rather than repeat my research skills.*

3) Reflection

Reflect on your role as a larger part of society (i.e. your motives,

instincts, feelings, and/or structural constraints). Discuss ways other

people affected you and the ways you affected others in the social

experiences of your day.

Sample Field Log

Below is a brief field log to give you an idea of the social

interactions and institutions you might look for in your day. With the

observations are sample course concepts that relate to the

observations. Be creative in exploring and applying concepts- we will

all apply concepts differently even if the scenes we observe are very


5:45am: Wake up, interact with children.

Gender roles, nuclear family, folkways

6:30am: Interact with spouse and children. Eat breakfast, run, shower.

8:00am: Arrive at airport, check in interaction with airline customer service; interaction with TSA.

Social structure, bureaucracy, norms, mores, social control

9:00am: Wait with other passengers to board flight; purchase a drink at

coffee shop; employees have a tip jar; a family sitting close by is

watching the news and commenting on what they think is wrong with other


Emotional labor, ethnocentrism, Piaget’s stages of development

9:30am: On flight with family having a difficult time with small children; flight attendant offers to help them.

Emotional labor, gender roles, family

12pm: Arrive at destination airport; drive two hours to see extended

family. Along the road there are farmers with fruit stands. See

homeless person asking for assistance in exchange for work.

Poverty, inequality

4pm: Extended family arrives for potluck dinner; look at family photos

together and share family memories. Watch evening news- local robbery

and assault.

Social deviance, material culture

6pm: Stop at church to meet family friend, see a bible study group

inside; lots of religious symbols; someone remarks on a new church being

built to accommodate a different racial group.

Religion, race, monotheism

Assignment 2 meets the following course objectives:

Apply a sociological perspective to the social world.

Analyze contemporary social issues using the sociological imagination

and use sociological theories and concepts to analyze everyday life.

Recognize and define social structure and social interaction

Explain the reciprocal relationship in the influence between societal

and structural factors, individual behavior and the self’s development

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