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Research Paper

The focus of this paper is to explore how residential patterns affect intergroup relations. You will use research approaches such as observation and secondary data analysis to further understand your community. Remember, you should conduct the observation (Step 2 below) on the same locale for which you completed the demographic report in your Week Three assignment (Step 1 below). If you are currently overseas or have other barriers that prevent you from physically accessing a location in the U.S., please contact your instructor for alternative assignment instructions.

Step 1: Using Secondary Data
Use the data gathered on your chosen locality in the Week Three assignment, “Demographic Report,” and implement any feedback from your instructor into your paper. If more data is needed, use demographic data from the latest census (available online using the US Census American FactFinder) and identify the various social and economic characteristics (i.e., education, population, housing, race, class, etc.) of this locale. You can also check government websites for your state, county or city for data. Present your findings in two to three pages of the paper.

Step 2: Using an Observational Study 
Next, spend 30 to 60 minutes observing your community. Go to a central place in your town such as the center of the city, a major landmark, or you can drive or walk to different areas and observe for a few minutes. Take notes of what you observe, including the types of people you see, the economic conditions, as well as the businesses or other institutions that are present. Based on your observations, what can you tell about the economic condition of the majority of people? Is the locale integrated or segregated? In this step, consider the information you have gathered in Step 1 regarding social and economic characteristics, and identify whether it matches what you have recorded from your observation. Be sure to compare the data you gathered from your observations to what was found in the census data and make note if there are differences. Present your findings in one to two pages of the paper.

Step 3: Analysis and Reporting of Research
Analyze your data and present your responses in two to three pages in the paper:

  • Describe how segregated the neighborhoods are in your locality. Be sure to consider the various social inequality indicators: race, ethnicity, class, gender, and perhaps sexuality for some areas.
  • Indicate if there are policies, practices, or specific circumstances that have created and maintained these patterns.

    Here are some examples of aspects to consider: Historically, has there always been racial segregation or not? Was it traditionally an area of immigration from a certain ethnic region? Is there an LGBT community? Was it an industrial area that had a strong working class community, or is it a technology area with highly educated citizens? Have there been efforts to desegregate or plans in the future?

  • In Chapter 1 and throughout the text, you have explored several sociological theoretical perspectives. Indicate which theoretical perspective best presents your analysis of your locality. Describe why you have chosen this theoretical perspective and ensure you include detail on which theorist’s work is most representative.

The Research Paper:

  • Must be seven to nine double-spaced pages in length (excluding title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  • Must use at least five scholarly resources, including a minimum of two from the Ashford University Library.
  • Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.   

Demographic Report

This assignment is closely related to the final Research Paper in Week Five. Please review the instructions for that paper before beginning this assignment. For this Week Three assignment, you will present demographic data on the city, town, or county where you currently live in preparation for the Research Paper, which is due in Week Five. To do this, you will perform secondary data analysis by visiting the US Census Bureau’s American FactFinder. Identify the various social and economic characteristics (i.e., education, population, housing, race, gender, age, income, etc.) of this locale and report the statistics. You can also check government websites for your state, county or city for data. Then, using the statistics you report, identify your findings of social stratification or social inequality found in this locale as highlighted in the reading in the text, Sociology: Beyond Common Sense, for Week Three. In other words, what does the data tell you about the social stratification and social inequalities found in your locale? Be sure to choose a locale that you have access to, as you will be conducting in-person observations in this locale for the Research Paper due in Week Five. If you are currently living outside of the U.S. or will have difficulties physically accessing a location in the U.S., please contact your instructor for additional instructions.

Your demographic report should follow the following structure:

  • Introduction (including the locality chosen and general socio-economic info on your locality)
  • At least five body paragraphs presenting the social or economic characteristics and specific data for the locality (please state both numbers and percentages if available). In this section of your paper, be sure to present statistics related to education, population, race, gender, age, income (and poverty), housing, as well as any other factors you think relate to the stratification and/or inequality in your chosen locale.
    Examples of how data can be presented:
    • A table of all the variables you found (if you select this option, please do not copy and paste tables from the American Factfinder website.  Rather, create your own table with all of your variables). 

      [Insert/Table in MS Word; add as many columns and rows as you like]:

Location: [examples]San Diego, Kern County, etc…

Percentage

Number (n=)

Population (male):

45%

45,000

Population (female)

55%

55,000

Median Income

 

$40,000

% of Population with College Degree

30%

30,000

      • Or a bullet point list of all the variables you found.

        Location:
        Population:
        • Male – 45% (n=45,000)
        • Female – 55% (n=55,000)…etc.
  • At least two body paragraphs describing how the statistics you report relate to social stratification and social inequality (use your text, Sociology: Beyond Common Sense as reference). In other words, think about what picture the statistics paint about the type of social hierarchies and inequalities that exist in your locale. (Hint: Think about stratification and inequalities based on race, gender, age, social class, etc. Finding statistics about education, income, housing, etc. by race/gender/age can be useful places to make these observations).
  • Conclusion (summarize the socio-economic status of your locality based on your findings and related discussions on social stratification and social inequality )
  • Reference page.

The paper must be four to five pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least five resources from the Census website. You must use your text to support your work on social stratification and social inequality. Cite your resources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center.

    • Posted: 2 years ago
    • Due: 
    • Budget: $30
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