For this course, you will be required to submit THREE short critical essays of 4 to 5 DOUBLE-SPACED pages in length. Please keep font sizes reasonable, preferably 12 point Times New Roman. Assignments should be written in essay format. Assignments do not require a cover page but should include a title, date, course number, and your name at the top of the first page.
You may use whichever citation format you are most familiar with. Be sure to reference any and all citations, direct quotes, or closely paraphrased portions of the source text.
For each assignment, you will be asked to pick ONE essay for purpose of critical analysis.
Assignment #2 – DUE October 24th by 11:59 P.M.
- Mead, “The Self as social Structure” Cahill, chapter 17
- Goffman, “The presentation of Self” in Cahill, chapter 21
- Gottschalk, “The Presentation of Self in Virtual spaces” in Cahill, chapter 24
- Tibbals, “Doing Gender as Resistance”, in Cahill, chapter 36.
How to approach the critical essays
The objective of a critical essay is to thoughtfully engage with the point of view, observations or arguments covered in an essay, book or presentation. Most of us do something like this when we give others our impressions – positive or negative – of something we have seen, read, or otherwise experienced and that we feel merits communicating our impressions to others.
With a movie, for example, we may have liked the set up but felt that the movie dragged in the middle and had an unconvincing ending. We might have liked one actor’s performance but not another`s, we might question casting choices, the naturalness of the dialogue, or the visual effects. A good movie critique will take note of how the entire movie is put together with attention to both good and bad elements, and of course sometimes we might want watch the movie again to catch things we may have missed the first time around.
A critique of a scholarly book, essay or article is basically the same thing. It typically begins with a synopsis of the key ideas or points (like a “plot summary” for a movie), and then examines points that stood out and that you feel merit particular attention – i.e. what the author or authors get right, what concepts and ideas you consider to be particularly interesting or insightful, or what points you might consider problematic or unconvincing. Basically, you want to make sure that you explain the main point of the essay as well as "highlights".
You will most likely find that the essays, if read on their own, can be a bit confusing or use words in unusual ways. Unlike movies, scholarly articles are rarely "stand alone" products -- they build on other sources and presume that the reader has a basic grasp of technical vocabulary. You may feel poorly equipped on your own to comment on scholarly essays written by professionals in the field. The Hewitt text and course notes are meant to help you with these challenges, as both are designed to give you a comprehensive background in micro-sociology and to present some of the difficult or important ideas in the field in more accessible terms. You will find that your comprehension of the assignment essays is much greater after having read the Hewitt chapters and the lecture notes, and you should to refer to these in your critical essay assignments.
Keep in mind that these critical essays are meant to provide you with an opportunity to think through and respond to the course material, to give you a chance to put your own ideas on paper, and of course to provide the instructor with a basis to evaluate your comprehension of core concepts and your progress in the course. They are much skill building exercises as they are a basis of evaluation. To get the most out of the exercise you should link up the essay you have selected with related concepts covered during the course, these essay selections were chosen because they demonstrate applications of theoretical concepts.
I`m often asked if it is permitted to use "I" in an academic essay. The short answer is yes, however there are some basic guidelines for how and when its o.k. to do so. Here is a very good link that explains the how and when:
FYI: writtingcommons.org is an excellent (and free) resource for essay writers, the contributors give pretty much the same advice I would and in greater detail.
SOC 210 - Critical Summary Student`s Name Institutional Affiliation SOC 210 - CRITICAL SUMMARY The Self as Social Structure Synopsis Mead defines "self" as an individual experiences on himself or herself as what he or she is from a standpoint of other members in the social group. A human being tries to put himself or herself in the shoes of another and try to see how the action is transpiring so as to develop the self-image. "I" and "me" are contrasted with "I" being the subject while "me" is the object. It is the aggregated image of an individual given to him or her by the world in which the person interacts with. "I" is closely associated with the psyche. It is the part of an individual that is out there that is active, spontaneously playing roles in the world, while "me" is linked with the self-concept (Mead, 2010). According to Mead, individual growth is realized only when "I" strongly believe that other members of the social group change the view of "me". Mead believed that there is a correspondence between â€œIâ€ and â€œmeâ€ and between an individual and