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Pick one to two themes that you want to examine in your family (such as marriage, divorce, cohabitation, parenting, child wellbeing). Examine this theme across at least two generations in your family (such as your parents and your grandparents, your generation (older cousins) and your parents/grandparents). Describe the trend across both generations and discuss why you think it has occurred. Do you expect your experience to be different? Why or why not?
Please note that, per the overall theme of this course, you can and should take an inclusive definition of “family”. That is, you may consider whomever you wish to be a member of your family. For example, some students may choose to write about an adoptive family, friends whom they consider family members, or family members living in another country.
Use your sociological imagination.
“The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals … the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances.”
— C. Wright Mills (1959)
Your analysis must be sociological.
In your paper, be sure to address the following:
• How does your family’s experience relate to broader trends in the family that we have discussed in class?
• How has your family’s position in the social structure (such as, race, social class, neighborhood) influenced the trends you are discussing?
• How do you think your experiences will be similar or different to what you have seen in your family?
The assignment should be three to five pages in length, double-spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and proper citations (both within the text and with a ‘works cited’ or ‘references’ section). At a minimum, your paper must include the following: (1) a clear introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, (2) body paragraphs that support and extend your thesis statement, and (3) a concluding paragraph that summarizes what you have discussed. Additionally, you must use three resources from outside of class. These resources must be from academic journals (not newspapers or magazines). You may use any style of citation (such as, APA or MLA), but please be consistent throughout the paper. The ‘works cited’ section does not count toward the page limit. You will be graded on your ability to prove your main argument or thesis. You will also be graded on spelling and grammar, as incorrect usage can inhibit your ability to communicate your ideas. Put your last name and student ID number on all pages and number your pages.