Organizing Sociological Research of a Metropolitan City

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Organizing Sociological Research of a Metropolitan City

Students will identify and select a target city and conduct an investigation. City of Choice is Houston Texas

Students in this research assignment will identify both the strengths and the weakness of the targeted city. The focus of this paper is to conduct research on the needs, resources, and problems of a targeted city and produce a paper that communicates the possible solutions to the problems. Student must identify existing (interior) and/or exterior resources that maintain the functions of the city or can help address the targeted city`s issues and problems.

The following four sections outlined are intended to help students with the format and outline of the city research paper. Thus, your paper will have these four major headings in bold.
1.Identification of Targeted City: In this section you will identify a city in the U.S. or in any part of the world. Once the targeted city has been identified, you will begin to assess the city from the perspective of strengths, weaknesses, resources and problems. This is a very important section of the research paper because it sets the parameters for the entire paper. Examples of the types of questions one might consider answering in this section include: 1.What targeted city will be the focus of the research?
2.What type of population lives in this city and what are the characteristics of the city inhabitants?
3.What the geographic boundaries of the city?
4.What physical and social issues and problems exist for the targeted city?
5.What resources exist in this city?
6.Are there traditions, attitudes and values based on stereotypes about the targeted city?
7.What is the history of the targeted city?
8.What is the political and economic framework?

2.Problem Identification and Needs Assessment: In this section you are concerned with identifying major social problems and unmet needs confronting the targeted city. These needs and problems should be examined in terms of both individual and collective needs of the city inhabitants. 1.What are the most pressing problems affecting the targeted city?
2.Are there subgroups of people who are experiencing more severe problems than others?
3.How can the targeted city`s needs best be conceptualized so that a determination can be made about the extent to which they are being met?
4.Are the city`s problems created locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally?
5.How much control does the city and its citizens have over its own destiny?
6.To what extent are the problems of the city inter-related with other cities or suburbs.
7.Are there needs in the city which require something rather than governmental intervention? What role might a sociologist play in responding to those problems?

3.Resource Identification: In this section you will identify resources available in the community to deal with the problems you identified in the preceding section. Resources should be defined in the broadest possible terms rather than focusing only on money. Focus on what is presently functioning, what is working and what are the strengths. The possibilities may be limitless. 1.What resources are available to deal with the problems identified above?
2.What strengths does the city have for managing and coping with the problems? How might those strengths be used to address the problems?
3.What formal organizations deliver services and goods to the city`s inhabitants?
4.What informal units assist in the functioning of the city?
5.Who are the main leaders of this city? Are they formal or informal? What role might they play in solving the problems in the city?

4.Sociological Interventions and Strategies: Identifying problems and resources is an important part of understanding a city. However, I am interested in how you are going to apply the knowledge and information provided to you throughout assigned readings, threaded questions and learning units and how you apply it to propose sociological interventions and possible strategies for dealing with one or more problems confronting the targeted city. Be as specific as possible refer to the assigned readings. 1. What problem(s) will you focus on and what strategies/tactics might you offer to address the problem(s) you have identified?
2.Are there both long-term and short-term solutions to the problem(s)?
3.Name or identify a possible intervention. Does the city presently have an intervention plan? Does you intervention or city intervention include an individual, a social policy, an organization, a governmental agency, or community values and attitudes?
4.What organizations would be your major allies/opponents of your proposed intervention? What are their strengths and weaknesses? That is, how strong would be your support and how powerful would your opposition? How much resistance and how much support would you encounter? What will be the source of that support or that resistance?
5.Is the problem you or the city identified related to other problems in other towns, cities and suburbs? To what extent will your or city proposed strategy address more than one problem.

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