Introduction There is a strong tradition of writing both sociologically- informed biographies and sociologically-informed autobiographies in the discipline of sociology. For this assignment, you will be doing a bit of both of those. You will both reflect on your own life story, making connections between your everyday life or your life story and broad sociocultural structures within which you live, and you will also compare and contrast those with someone you interview.
The socioautobiography is a “disciplined, systematic exploration of one’s life from a sociological point of view” (Hill, 2009, p. 3). Also, the sociobiography is the systematic exploration of another person’s life from a sociological point of view.
Instructions To begin this assignment, consider your own life as you review all the textbook readings and online weekly lessons and decide which sociological concepts you wish to explain in connection to a part or parts of your own life story. Click on the following link for questions to consider as you reflect on your life:
Link: Questions to Consider
Reflect As you consider your own life and as you create questions to ask the person you interview, consider the following questions:
How might a sociologist introduce you or the person you interview? How have social influences shaped you or the person you interview? What were the social forces that constructed your life or lifestyle? How have you negotiated the crisscrossing pressures of autonomy and conformity? Who are you in social context and what does it mean to understand your life using the “sociological imagination,” or utilizing a sociological perspective? What sociological concepts would be most helpful in understanding and interpreting your life experiences, whether class, or reference group, conformity, agents of socialization, gender socialization, racial socialization, norms, roles, significant others, total institutions (particularly if you were in the military), achieved status, ascribed status, deviance, subculture, culture, culture shock, ethnocentrism, folkways, mores, peer groups, and any others described in the textbook chapters, to interpret your life experiences? What events, moments or relationships in your life have impacted you significantly?
Interview Locate someone willing to be interviewed regarding sociological perspectives on a part or parts of that person’s life story. The person can be anyone you choose, whether in your family or outside your family. Be sure to inform that person that you will be writing up your observations from the interview in an assignment for your Society and Culture course.
Write In a paper, compare and contrast your sociological observations about yourself with your sociological observations of the person you interview. Address the following 3 important sections:
1. Explore the interconnections between your life story and the larger social structure or culture.
2. Explore the interconnections between the life story of a person you interview and the larger social structure or culture.
3. Compare and contrast the sociological themes and concepts related to your own personal story with the sociological themes and concepts related to the story of the person you interviewed. Apply the sociological imagination in the analysis.
Include the following in your analysis:
Quotes or paraphrases and citations from both outside scholarly sources and assigned readings (online Lessons or textbook readings), to support your observations in all 3 required sections. 6 different concepts, key words, or vocabulary words from Chapters 1-6 in your analysis and observations, formatted in boldface and underlined in the main text of your paper
You may repeat these 6 terms throughout the assignment.
Click on the following link for a socioautobiography/sociobiography writing tip:
Link: Writing Tip
Writing Tip: Focus
As Kanagy and Kraybill (1999) wrote in their book, The Riddles of Human Society, the socioautobiography is “not a diary” or a “point-by-point account” of life since birth (p. 287). The sociobiography is not a “point-by-point account” since birth of the person you interview, either. Feel free to focus on only a part or parts of your life story and of that of the person you interview.
Include headings for each of the three main sections of the paper:
Socioautobiography Sociobiography Comparison/Contrast
Each of the three main sections of your paper must contain scholarly support in the form of quotes or paraphrases with respective citations from assigned reading (the textbook and/or the lessons from Weeks 1-3) and the outside scholarly sources that you identify on your own.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
Length: 3-4 pages (not including references page) 1-inch margins Double spaced 12-point Times New Roman font Running header in the upper left of all pages Page number in the upper right of all pages Minimum of 3 headings (centered, bold, & title case) Parenthetical in-text citations included and formatted in APA style References page (minimum of 3 outside scholarly sources plus the textbook/lesson and interview) Title page not required
This activity will be graded based on the Essay (W3) Grading Rubric.
Course Outcomes (CO): 3, 5
Due Date: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday
Hill, M. R. (1989/2009). What it means to be a humanist sociologist: A socioautobiographical perspective. Sociology Department, Faculty Publications. 453. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi? article=1463&context=sociologyfacpub
Kanagy, C. L., & Kraybill, D. B. (1999). The riddles of human society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. (pp. 287- 289).
Length 10.0 pts Meets length requirement
0.0 pts Does not meet length requirement
Content 10.0 pts Addresses all aspects of the assignment.
8.5 pts Addresses most aspects of the assignment.
7.5 pts Addresses some aspects of the assignment.
6.0 pts Addresses few aspects of the assignment.
0.0 pts No effort
Explanation of Concepts
30.0 pts Thoroughly explains six sociological concepts in connection to the student’s own life story and to that of the person interviewed.
25.5 pts Explains the six sociological concepts in connection to the student’s own life story and to that of the person interviewed, but more details could be added.
22.5 pts Adequately explains the six sociological concepts. Additional explanation and details are needed to clarify the topic and make connection to the student’s own life story and to that of the person interviewed.
18.0 pts Explanation of the six sociological concepts is inadequate or unclear. Connections to the student’s own life story and to that of the person interviewed are inadequate or unclear.
0.0 pts No effort
Analysis 45.0 pts The central idea is developed and expanded with depth of critical thought. Thorough analysis is included showing how sociological concepts help to examine and interpret the life experiences of both the student and the person interviewed. The life experiences of both the student and the person interviewed are thoroughly compared and contrasted from a sociological perspective.
38.25 pts The central idea is discernible and developed. Some comparison and contrast of the student’s experiences and of the experiences of the person interviewed is included, though additional details could provide a stronger examination of the concepts.
33.75 pts The central idea needs more development with points tying back to the thesis. Some comparison and/or contrast of the student’s experiences and of the experiences of the person interviewed is included. Additional support and details are needed to clarify points.
27.0 pts The central idea is not developed, and the analysis lacks critical thought. Little of the comparison or contrast of the student’s experiences and of the experiences of the person interviewed is included is included.