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Research Paper on Physical Activity and Obesity
Physical Activity and Obesity Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Obesity. Physical Activity is defined as bodily movement (any form) produced by the contraction of skeletal muscles that increases energy expenditure above the basal level, and can be categorized in various ways, including type, intensity or strenuousness and purpose. Obesity is a condition describing excess body weight in the form of fat, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater...
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Sociology Essays and Research Papers

  Anthropology Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Acting White
Acting White - Anthropology - Sociology Research Paper Topics. African American adolescents sometimes ridicule their peers for behaving in ways they identify as characteristic of whites. A variety of behaviors may trigger this response: manner of speech and dress, choice of television shows or sports, and, most troubling, demonstrating a commitment to academic success by participating in class, studying hard, and enrolling in advanced classes. This phenomenon was given prominence in an article published in 1986 by ethnographers Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu, reporting a study of a predominantly black high school in Washington, D.C. Since then, the burden of "acting white" has emerged as one of the standard explanations for the black-white gap in test scores and academic...
Free Essay on Anthropology Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on African American Studies
African American Studies - Anthropology - Sociology Research Paper Topics. African American studies (also called black studies, African and African American studies, Africana and Pan-African studies, and African diaspora studies) combine general intellectual history, academic scholarship, and a radical movement for fundamental educational reform (Alkalimat et al. 1977). From its inception the field has embraced the focus of academic excellence and social responsibility in a unique approach that addresses traditional issues of "town and gown." Though born out of turbulence, the discipline's ability to persevere since its formal establishment in university settings makes it a lasting testament to the legacy of the Black Power movement and the goals of a long list...
Free Essay on Anthropology Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on African Americans
African Americans - Anthropology - Sociology Research Paper Topics. The term African American has typically referred to descendants of enslaved and indentured black Africans transplanted by force into what is now the United States. The terms African American, black, and Afro-American are sometimes used interchangeably. African American has supplanted other designations, such as Negro, derived from the word Negroid, coined in the eighteenth century by European anthropologists. African American is sometimes applied more broadly to descendants of all ten million or more Africans forcibly transported to the Western Hemisphere from the beginning of the sixteenth century until the 1860s. Africans shipped to the United States represented over forty ethnic groups from twenty-five...
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Research Paper on The African Crisis Response Initiative
The African Crisis Response Initiative - Anthropology - Sociology Research Paper Topics. The African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) is a program that the United States launched in 1996 to address challenges of peacekeeping and conflict management in Africa. Its formation was prompted by fears that the ethnic massacres that occurred in Rwanda in 1994 might also take place in neighboring Burundi, and by the desire of the United States to avoid getting entangled in local conflicts, as occurred in 1993 when eighteen U.S. Army rangers were killed in Somalia, where the United States had intervened to provide humanitarian assistance. Initially, the United States wanted to establish an African force that could intervene to save lives in humanitarian crises...
Free Essay on Anthropology Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on African Diaspora
African Diaspora - Anthropology - Sociology Research Paper Topics. The African diaspora was the dispersal of African peoples to Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The term is used most commonly for the coerced movement in various slave trades, but the word diaspora has also been used to refer to voluntary migrations from Africa and for population movements within Africa. In some ways, the most consequential movement of peoples from Africa was the first, when the early stages of human evolution took place in the highlands of East Africa. From there, over the last million and a half years, human beings spread out across Africa, gradually adapting to different environments, and then into Asia, Europe, and eventually the Americas. More recent large-scale movements...
Free Essay on Anthropology Research Paper Topics» 
  Birth Control Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on New Contraceptive Technologies
New Contraceptive Technologies - Birth Control - Sociology Research Paper Topics. In spite of the availability of a broad range of contraceptive methods, the effectiveness of traditional contraceptive methods is largely dependent on user consistency and proper use. Even with consistent and proper use, each method is associated with varying degrees of risk. Risks include the likelihood of pregnancy, side effects, and possible STI transmission. New developments in contraceptive technology focus on improvement of side effects and the development of contraceptives that do not require users to adhere to a daily regiment. These new technologies are designed to make use simpler and more suitable to users' lives. Additionally, many of the new technologies seek to combine...
Free Essay on Birth Control Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Traditional Contraceptive Methods
Traditional Contraceptive Methods - Birth Control - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Traditional contraceptive methods provide varying degrees of protection from becoming pregnant and protection from STIs. While some of these methods provide noncontraceptive benefits, they require consistent and appropriate use and are associated with varying degrees of risks. Traditional contraception includes both hormonal and non-hormonal methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. These methods provide protection as long as they are used correctly but their effects are temporary and reversible once discontinued. Traditional contraceptive methods include sexual abstinence, coitus interruptus, rhythm method, barrier methods, spermicides, male or female condoms...
Free Essay on Birth Control Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Brief History of Contraception
Brief History of Contraception - Birth Control - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Although women have sought to control their fertility since ancient times, safe and effective contraception was not developed until the 20th century. The large influx of immigrants in the 1900s and the emergence of feminist groups working for women's rights helped bring to the forefront large-scale birth control movements in the United States and abroad. Ancient forms of birth control included potions, charms, chants, and herbal recipes. Ancient recipes often featured leaves, hawthorn bark, ivy, willow, and poplar, believed to contain sterilizing agents. During the Middle Ages, potions containing lead, arsenic, or strychnine caused death to many women seeking to control their fertility...
Free Essay on Birth Control Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Birth Control
Birth Control - Birth Control - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Birth control is the control of fertility, or the prevention of pregnancy, through one of several methods. Another common name for birth control is contraception, because that is precisely what the various birth control methods do; they prevent the viable sperm and egg from uniting to form a fertilized embryo. Though discussing birth control is no longer likely to lead to an arrest, as it did in the days of birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger, public debates remain. Some debates address which methods of birth control are the most effective at attaining one's reproductive goals, while others address whether insurance benefits should include the cost of birth control, the likely long- and short-term effects...
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Research Paper on Margaret Sanger Biography
Margaret Sanger Biography - Birth Control - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Margaret Sanger, who was born on September 14 in Corning, New York, founded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and was in the forefront of the fight for women's reproductive rights. Sanger believed that women should have access to the materials they needed to control their fertility safely and effectively. She spread the message that American women--and women around the world--should be able to choose when and whether they wish to have children. She died on September 9 in Tucson, Arizona. Margaret Louisa Higgins was born into a large working-class family. She attended nursing school and later served as an obstetrical nurse in the Lower East Side of New York City. From her experiences...
Free Essay on Birth Control Research Paper Topics» 
  Child Care Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Child Support System and Fathers' Rights Activists
Child Support System and Fathers' Rights Activists - Child Care - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Overall, fathers' rights activists find that the current child support system is a gender-biased system that discriminates against men. However, these activists' dissatisfaction with the child support system begins prior to the child support order, with the divorce proceedings. Many divorced men argue that awarding sole maternal custody denies a father equal rights. Yet many fathers admit that they do not want the responsibility of caring for their children on a daily basis but do want to continue the parenting role and visit with their children regularly. A second issue that concerns fathers' rights activists is that mothers are awarded unjust child support payments...
Free Essay on Child Care Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Child Advocates
Child Advocates - Child Care - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Child advocates argue that the child support system has improved but suggest that more changes are needed to improve the health and well-being of children and to lift families out of poverty. For instance, the number of custodial parents receiving full private child support payments has increased over the last 10 years, from 36.9 percent to 45.3 percent. In contrast, among custodial parents who live below the poverty line, only 35 percent received all the private child support that was due. In terms of public child support-related services, advocates argue that these services rarely prevent poverty and, in fact, are a poverty trap. Public child support services provide meager, below-poverty-level...
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Research Paper on Child Support in the United States
Child Support in the United States - Child Care - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Child support in its present form has not always existed. Initially child support was considered a civil matter. Since the arrival of settlers in America, child support has existed in some form, with parental responsibility at the heart of collections of aid. Child support has its foundations in the Elizabethan Poor Laws of 1601, sometimes referred to as the English Poor Laws. The English Poor Laws were a system of relief to the poor that was financed and administered at the local level (parishes). The poor were divided into three groups: able-bodied adults, children, and the elderly or non-able-bodied. The overseers of the poor relief system were to put the able-bodied to work...
Free Essay on Child Care Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Child Support and Deadbeat Parents
Child Support and Deadbeat Parents - Child Care - Sociology Research Paper Topics. A question that has appeared in recent years, largely as a result of the increases in divorce and nonmarital child bearing, is the question of whether child support enforcement leads to an increase in deadbeat parents. Over the last few decades, the United States has witnessed an increase in the number of parents, mainly fathers, who are not taking responsibility for their children. Many of these parents have come to public attention through the child support system. The child support system is fundamentally an economic phenomenon run by the various states with federal oversight and guidelines. Historically, its focus was on either recovering welfare money for the government...
Free Essay on Child Care Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Child Care Challenges
Child Care Challenges - Child Care - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Formalized child care has often been described as a patchwork system of caring for children. This description of child care is used because there is no formal or comprehensive style of caring for children outside of the immediate family. Parents, especially mothers, often feel immense frustration, because few options and conversely many gaps exist in securing child care. For example, licensed child care rarely exists after 6:00 p.m. This can be an insurmountable problem for women whose work hours do not fit the typical 9-to-5 workday. The securing of infant care can also add to the challenge of child care. Normally, infant care is quite time intensive for providers, and they must subsequently...
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  Crime Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Addiction and Dependency
Terms such as addiction and dependency are frequently used to describe patterns of illicit drug use. However, there are no universal definitions of these terms and they are frequently used inconsistently and interchangeably. As a result, it is difficult to estimate the number of drug users who can be described as addicted or dependent. Addiction tends to refer to dependence on a particular drug or drugs, which has developed to the extent that it has a severe and harmful impact on an individual drug user. The term implies that the drug user is unable to give up drug use without incurring adverse effects. Dependency can...
Free Essay on Crime Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Aggression
Aggression is any behavior that is directed toward injuring, harming, or inflicting pain on another living being or group of beings. Generally, the victim(s) of aggression must wish to avoid such behavior in order for it to be considered true aggression. Hostile aggression is an aggressive act that results from anger, and is intended to inflict pain or injury. Instrumental aggression is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury. The concept of aggression is broad, and includes many categories of behavior (street crime, child abuse, war, etc.). Theories on aggression are commonly categorized according...
Free Essay on Crime Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Normative structures surrounding alcohol use vary greatly over history and geography. In many settings drinking only accompanies rituals of celebration and social solidarity. There is however a long history of solitary and group drunkenness with adverse consequences. Dangers of alcohol consumption are recognized in its prohibition throughout Islam. In general, however, history shows eons of socially integrated alcohol use. Concepts of societal-level alcohol-related problems first emerged some 500 years ago. These social problems grew with industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and population increase...
Free Essay on Crime Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Capital Punishment
In both the USA and the world there are few punishments that are as old or as controversial as the punishment of death. In the international community the death penalty is as old as the code of King Hammurabi of Babylon which called for capital punishment for some 25 different crimes. In the USA use of capital punishment dates to at least 1608 when Captain George Kendall of the Jamestown colony in Virginia was executed for allegedly being a Spanish spy. Today the death penalty still exists, though it is not as pervasive or as frequently used as in the past. As of 2009 there were 91 countries in the world that have abolished...
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Research Paper on Child Abuse
Child abuse includes all forms of physical, emotional and sexual ill-treatment, neglect, and exploitation. Globally, hundreds of millions of children are victims of violence; the vast majority of perpetrators are parents-family caretakers. In the USA, over 3 million children are reported to official agencies for severe maltreatment each year. These official figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as more than a third of adults in the USA report having experienced abuse and/or neglect as a child. Child physical abuse involves a parent or caretaker intentionally inflicting physical pain on the child...
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  Culture Research Paper Topics
Acculturation Essay
Acculturation can be defined as the process of bringing previously separated and disconnected cultures into contact with one another. Acculturation is not the absorption of different cultures as a result of a mere physical contact or superficial exposure. The processes of cultural transmission and cultural borrowing are the result of conscious decision-making on the part of an individual or a group that is approaching a culturally distinct group. If no force or coercion is involved, the individual or group must decide whether and to what extent the new culture will be accepted or rejected. E. Franklin Frazier (1957) made...
Free Essay on Culture Research Paper Topics» 
Agency and Intention Essay
Agency is the faculty for action. This faculty may be uniquely human. Action differs from the (mere) behavior of non-human organisms, which is driven by innate or conditioned reflexes and instincts. Non-human organisms have no or little control over how they behave. They do not have a sense of self or, if they do, it is not reflexive. Their behavior is caused by forces they cannot comprehend or influence. Human actors are different because they are conscious and aware of the world, themselves, and other actors. To some extent, what they do, and who they are, is up to them. They are open to the world...
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Body and Cultural Sociology Essay
Diverse theoretical traditions have been influential in the development of the contemporary sociology of the body, such as philosophical anthropology, Marxist humanism, and phenomenology. However, Michel Foucault (1926-84) has been a dominant influence in late twentieth-century historical and sociological approaches. Systematic sociological interest in the body began in the 1980s with The Body and Society (Turner 1984) and Five Bodies (O'Neill 1985). The journal Body and Society was launched in 1995 to cater for this expanding academic market. Taking a wider perspective, there has been a persistent but erratic and...
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Censorship Essay
Censorship has generally been of interest to social theorists when considered as a matter of state control over ''free speech'' and/or mass-mediated content. This governmental censorship has tended to focus on notions of protecting ''vulnerable'' (young/lower-class/female) audiences from representations of sex, violence, and criminality which, it is assumed, may deprave, corrupt, or desensitize them. Media-sociological work on censorship argues that it has worked to support the ideological power of hegemonic blocs, tending to repress expression which does not fall into normative cultural categories...
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Civilizations Essay
The central analytical core of the concept of civilization as presented here is the combination of ontological or cosmological visions, of visions of transmundane and mundane reality, with the definition, construction, and regulation of the major arenas of social life and interaction. The central core of civilizations is the symbolic and institutional interrelation between the formulation, promulgation, articulation, and continuous reinterpretation of the basic ontological visions prevalent in a society, its basic ideological premises and core symbols on the one hand, and on the other the definition, structuration...
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  Demography Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Birth Control
Birth control refers to the means used to limit or space human fertility. The technological development of these means, the organization of their use, and the fairness of their application are the province of scientists, policymakers, religious leaders, and the users of birth control. The definition includes recent methods such as condoms, sterilization, intrauterine devices, and the birth control pill. It also includes older methods, such as abortion, prolonged nursing of infants, periodic abstinence from sex, herbal tonics, and coitus interruptus. The question of the comparative effectiveness of various techniques often comes up in discussions of birth control. Abortion, some forms of surgical sterilization, and complete abstinence from intercourse are the most effective at preventing births. Yet, effective birth prevention is only one of the goals considered by users of birth control and by the persons and institutions promoting its use. Safety and ease of use are, for example, other important dimensions...
Free Essay on Demography Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Childlessness
The term childlessness refers to a lifetime of being childless and can be applied both to couples that have never borne a child and to single women or men. Most research, and hence most available data, focuses on women. In some populations the proportion of women experiencing childlessness has been as low as 2 or 3 percent, and in others it has been ten times this minimum level. In the twentieth-century United States, for instance, the level of childlessness for women born in the first decade of the century (and bearing children during the depression of the 1930s) and for those born in the 1950s (and bearing children during the century's last three decades) was approximately 20 percent. By contrast, it was approximately 10 percent for U.S. women born in the 1930s (and bearing children during the baby boom of the 1950s). There are four dominant paths to childlessness. First, persons can decide at a young age that they want no children and maintain this position over their lifetimes. Second, persons can intend to...
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Research Paper on Children
Although seemingly intuitive, the meaning of the term children depends on the context. From a strict biological perspective, the term children refers to the offspring of a female and male who have mated. However, the term need not refer only to biological offspring, as it also applies to socially defined categories of children including stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children. By law, one is considered a minor until the age of eighteen. However, the law distinguishes children from minors in general. According to the law, a child under the age of fourteen is a "child of tender age." The term juvenile is used to categorize individuals between fourteen and seventeen years of age, thus distinguishing juveniles from children. The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) sets forth the universal human rights of children: "the right to survival; the right to develop to the fullest; the right to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and the right to...
Free Essay on Demography Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on The Club of Rome
Founded in Rome in early 1968 by a group of European businesspeople and scientists, the Club of Rome is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization (NGO) that serves as an international think tank on global issues. The Club of Rome is run by an Executive Committee of eleven members that appoints a president, vice presidents, a secretary-general, and a treasurer. The president of the club represents the organization to the outside world; HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan became president of the Club of Rome in 1999. Individual membership in the Club of Rome is restricted to those who are elected by the Executive Committee. There are three levels of individual membership. (1) Active members are persons of established reputation whose work is international in scope and whose views on global issues are congruent with the Club of Rome. Serving terms of five years, the number of active members is limited to one hundred. The Club of Rome's professed aim is to balance membership in this category by...
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Research Paper on Contraception
The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, reinforced that all human beings have the right to "decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health" (para. 95). A discussion of contraception provides us with an understanding of how access to comprehensive family planning services can improve the lives of women, men, and children around the world. Contraception, or birth control, is the deliberate prevention of conception by hormones, devices, surgery, or avoiding intercourse during a woman's fertile time of the month. Family planning is the intentional decision on the number and spacing of children a couple will bear. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 123 million women, mostly in developing countries, who are not using contraception. Some of the reasons include poor access to comprehensive...
Free Essay on Demography Research Paper Topics» 
  Economy and Consumption Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Alienation
Alienation - Economy and Consumption - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Alienation is the social and psychological separation between oneself and one's life experiences. Alienation is a concept originally applied to work and work settings but today is also used to characterize separation from the political sphere. To be alienated is to live in a society but not to feel that one is a part of its ongoing activities. Theories of alienation start with the writings of Marx, who identified the capacity for self-directed creative activity as the core distinction between humans and animals. If people cannot express their species being (their creativity), they are reduced to the status of animals or machines. Marx argued that, under capitalism, workers lose control over their work and, as a consequence, are alienated in at least four ways. First, they are alienated from the products of their labor. They no longer determine what is to be made nor what use will be made of it. Work is reduced to being a means to an...
Free Essay on Economy and Consumption Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Arcades
Arcades - Economy and Consumption - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Originating in Paris in the 1820s, arcades were decorative passages or walkways through blocks of buildings. Glass-roofed and supported by ornate ironwork columns, arcades formed interior streets; sites of conspicuous consumption for the wealthy, and places of spectacle for the poor. Hemmed in by concession stands and eclectic emporia, arcade shop fronts offered the observer a visual experience of illuminated shop-signs, objets d'art, and a cornucopia of commodities from around the world. Sociologically speaking, the importance of the Parisian arcades lies in their role as progenitor of modern consumerism and more tangentially as a prototype of the contemporary shopping mall. The unearthing of the arcade as a site of sociological and philosophical importance is closely associated with the German literary theorist, Walter Benjamin. Benjamin was fascinated by the arcades, ''mythical'' qualities, viewing them as both ''threatening''...
Free Essay on Economy and Consumption Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy - Economy and Consumption - Sociology Research Paper Topics. Financial and bankruptcy law refers to the laws applied to savings, investments, and loss, among other economic areas. Financial law deals with the broad range of saving and investment products as well as the services related to these products. These include personal finance, corporate finance, credit trade, budgeting, and stocks. Bankruptcy law, on the other hand, regulates the declaration of an individual or company's inability to pay creditors. It is also related to financial stress, asset sales, and macro-economic fluctuations. Financial law plays a very important role in the world economy and typically covers the following areas: banking - including banks, trust companies, saving banks, savings, loans, and credit unions; brokerage services including broker disputes; commodities; consumer lenders; insurance; investments; mortgages; mutual funds; and stocks and bonds. Bankruptcy law involves the development of plans that allow...
Free Essay on Economy and Consumption Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Base and Superstructure
Base and Superstructure - Economy and Consumption - Sociology Research Paper Topics. In the Preface to the first published installment of his critique of political economy, Marx presented the classic statement of the base and superstructure metaphor. In a sketch of his work's ''guiding thread,'' Marx (1907: lv) noted that humankind enters determinate, necessary social relations of production appropriate to a determinate developmental stage of the material forces of production. These relations, comprised of real individuals, their activity, and the material conditions in which they live, constitute the ''economic structure'' - the real basis of the legal and political superstructure and determinate forms of social consciousness. Consciousness does not determine social being; being determines consciousness. The material infrastructure, Marx maintained, was the real locus of fundamental transformation -not new ideas or changes in the superstructure. The social relations of production - property relations...
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Research Paper on Bourgeoisie and Proletariat
Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Economy and Consumption - Sociology Research Paper Topics. The Communist Manifesto s powerful imagery has permanently identified Marx with ''bourgeoisie, '' ''proletariat, '' and ''class struggle'' even though, he maintained, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Mill, and J. B. Say, among others, were first to identify the struggles of ''the three great classes -landed property and the capitalist and working classes - as central to political economy. ''Bourgeois'' began as a twelfth-century, French, juridical term designating citizens or freemen in a city or burgh. During the late seventeenth century, ''bourgeoisie identified members of the emerging third estate and by 1789 connoted an entrepreneurial class (Thierry 1856). '' Merging bourgeoisie, the capitalist class, and a particular epoch of industrialization and exploitation into one image, Marx and Engels politicized the term. ''Proletarians'' originally identified the poorest Roman citizens who had no...
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  Education Research Paper Topics
Affirmative Action Essay
The term affirmative action encompasses a broad range of voluntary and mandated policies and procedures intended to provide equal access to educational and employment opportunities for members of historically excluded groups. Foremost among the bases for historical exclusion have been race, ethnicity, and sex, although consideration is sometimes extended to other groups (e.g., Vietnam veterans, the disabled). Both the concept of affirmative action and its application have undergone a series of transformations and interpretations. These shifts have contributed to considerable ambivalence in levels of public support...
Free Essay on Education Research Paper Topics» 
Bell Curve Essay
The bell curve provides a foundation for the majority of statistical procedures in sociology. Conceptually it is a histogram, but with such fine distinctions between outcomes that it is a line in the shape of a bell. Beneath this curve are all possible outcomes, with the outcomes on the x-axis and the y-axis describing the proportion or probability for each outcome. The ''tails'' of the curve extend indefinitely. The shape is symmetrical and unimodal, so that the distribution's mean, median, and mode are identical and in the center of the distribution. In the distribution one standard deviation from the mean is 34.13 percent...
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Community College Essay
Although American community colleges (formerly known as junior colleges) have existed since the late nineteenth century, little sociological attention has been paid to these institutions until recently. The conceptual frameworks that do exist highlight the juxtaposition of the community college's function of expanding access to higher education while also limiting opportunity for many students. Previously enrolling only about 10 percent of all undergraduates, the community college experienced unprecedented growth in the three decades following World War II. Between 1944 and 1947 community college enrollment...
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Critical Pedagogy Essay
Critical pedagogy challenges both students and teachers to channel their experiences of oppression into educating and empowering marginalized peoples. Critical pedagogues approach education as a process of social, cultural, political, and individual transformation, where social equity can be nourished or social inequity perpetuated. According to critical pedagogues, notions defining rational classification of people into categories that diminish their social affect and importance keep them oppressed. Oppressed peoples thus require not only awareness of inequities they suffer but also an understanding of ways that...
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Sociology of Education Essay
After the Industrial Revolution, the responsibility for educating youth shifted from families to schools in developed nations. Schools are now a major social institution, educating the majority of children and youth in the developed world and functioning as a primary engine of change in developing countries. Sociology of education has sought to understand the central role that schools play in society from a variety of perspectives, with great emphasis on issues pertaining to equality and opportunity. Sociologists have two broad theoretical approaches to studying education's role in society: the functionalist...
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  Elder Care Research Paper Topics
Essay on Elder Neglect
Elder Neglect Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Elder Care and Abuse. Current estimates suggest that 1 million to 2 million American's older than age 65 have been abused, neglected, or exploited by someone with whom they have placed their trust. Although standards may vary across cultures regarding the level of respect, attention, and support provided to the elderly, all cultures recognize the increased vulnerability that occurs with aging. Elder neglect occurs when the increased needs of the elderly are unmet by a designated caretaker. The specific legal definition of "elder neglect" varies from state to state. However, all generally define it as the failure of an individual to provide the basic necessities needed for mental and physical health. This includes a failure...
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Essay on Elder Maltreatment
Elder Maltreatment Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Elder Care and Abuse. Many types of family violence have been recognized, including child abuse, wife abuse, and, more recently, elder abuse. All forms of family violence are at epidemic levels in the United States, yet considerably less investment has been made in reducing elder abuse than child and wife abuse. Elder abuse, like other forms of maltreatment in families, can take several different forms. The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study (NEAIS) of 1996 defined domestic elder abuse--that is, elder abuse perpetrated by members of the family or household--as including the following forms of maltreatment: (1) physical abuse--any form of physical aggression that could result in bodily injury, physical pain...
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Essay on Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Elder Care and Abuse. Elder abuse is a term that has both specific and general meanings. Specifically, the term refers to volitional acts (acts of commission) of physical, sexual, or psychological violence perpetrated against individuals over age 65 by family members or other individuals in positions of trust, such as health care providers. The term is not usually used to denote acts of violence perpetrated against elders by strangers. The term is also used, generally, as a cover term to denote, by commission or omission, an array of harmful acts perpetrated against elders by intimate others including neglect, exploitation, and abandonment. In recent years, researchers have advocated the use of the term...
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Essay on Elder Care
Elder Care Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. At both ends of the life course, infancy and old age, the question of care is paramount. Not only do discussions revolve around the quality of care available to assist with the needs of these groups, but costs and moral obligations compound the debate. Just as young parents must decide whether to place a child in day care or find an alternative so that the child may be cared for at home, adult children and their aging parents must decide how best to care for the aged. Is home care by a family member or skilled nursing care in an institutional setting most appropriate? Often families agonize over the decision of how to care for their loved one. Many times, financial limitations determine...
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Essay on Controversies in Elder Abuse
Controversies in Elder Abuse Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. Although it is generally accepted that abuse is a problem in the culture that needs to be eradicated, the paths to decreased violence are often contradictory. Often experts suggest that one cannot end abuse without knowing the causes of abuse. Elder abuse shares some links with domestic violence causes in general, but because of the intergenerational nature of the abuse, there are some important differences. Another area of controversy involves whether gender plays a role in the status of both victim and perpetrator. Other questions remain as to the best course of action when dealing with older persons who have been abused and the role that the state plays in providing...
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  Famous Sociologists Research Paper Topics
Free Essay on Jane Addams
Feminist pragmatist, social settlement leader, and Nobel Laureate, Jane Addams (1860-1935) was a charismatic world leader with an innovative intellectual legacy in sociology and one of the most important sociologists in the world. From 1890 to 1935, she led dozens of women in sociology, although after 1920 most of these women were forced out of sociology and into other fields such as social work, applied psychology, and pedagogy. Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860, in Cedarville, Illinois. In 1887, accompanied by her college friend Ellen Gates Starr, Addams visited the social settlement Toynbee Hall in London's East End. It provided a model in 1889 for the friends to co-found their social settlement, Hull-House, in Chicago. Hull-House became the institutional anchor...
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Free Essay on Simone de Beauvoir
The French existentialist philosopher, writer, and social essayist Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) is most widely known for her pioneering work Le Deuxieme Sexe (1949) or The Second Sex. Her expose of woman as ''Other'' and her calling attention to the feminine condition of oppression as historically linked to motherhood are considered her major contributions to modern feminist thought. While not generally acknowledged as a sociologist, Beauvoir nevertheless contributed to sociology in The Second Sex, The Coming of Age (La Vieillesse 1970), a study of old age, and to a lesser extent, her writings on the media and death and dying. Simone de Beauvoir is also internationally read and widely known for her novels, autobiographies, and travelogues. Beauvoir's theorizing corrects androcentric biases...
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Free Essay on Peter Blau
Peter Blau (1918-2002) is one of the most influential figures in post-war American sociology. His long career and range of substantive interests span the range from small-groups and social exchange theory to organizational theory, the analysis of status attainment, and finally general sociological theory. In spite of its apparent ''heterogeneity,'' it can be argued that a single strand runs through Blau's diverse body of work. For Blau, the study of the structural limits posed by large-scale distributions of actors, positions, and resources on the opportunities and choices of individuals constituted the central subject matter of sociology. Nevertheless Blau made seminal contributions to many sociological fields. His life's work can be divided into four major...
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Free Essay on Herbert George Blumer
Herbert George Blumer (1900-87) emerged from a rural Missouri background and matured into an internationally acclaimed scholar (University of Missouri, BA 1921, MA 1922; University of Chicago, PhD, 1928) whose work defined a pioneering and enduringly relevant theoretical and methodological position in sociology and social psychology. He taught at Chicago from 1928 until 1951, leaving there to become the first chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, a post that he held until he retired in 1967. He earned the American Sociological Association's ''Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award'' in 1983. Among his many non-academic activities, he served with the Department of State's Office of War Information (1943-5) and chaired...
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Free Essay on Pierre Bourdieu
Born in August 1930, Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) followed an adventurous life trajectory from rural southern-western France (at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains) to a fruitful educational career and his enrolment at the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure as a philosophy major. Against the spirit of his time, overwhelmingly characterized by Sartrean existentialism, early Bourdieu focused on the study of logic and the history of science under Alexandre Koyre, Jules Vuillemin, Eric Weil, Martial Gueroult, Gaston Bachelard, and Georges Canguilhem. His military service in Algeria and his systematic engagement in anthropological work on Kabylia, mainly focusing on the structural effects of power and stratification within the context of colonialism and native cultural practices...
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  Gender Research Paper Topics
Sociology of AIDS Essay
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by a retrovirus, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), identified in 1984. It is currently estimated that over 35 million people are living with HIV, the vast majority living in low- to middle-income countries. HIV/AIDS is not evenly distributed and prevalence rates range from 1 percent to 25 percent in the adult population. While some countries, such as those in northern Europe, have ''concentrated'' epidemics mainly confined to gay men, others such as those in southern Africa, are experiencing ''generalized'' epidemics where the entire sexually active population...
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Bifurcated Consciousness and Line of Fault Essay
Dorothy Smith's influential feminist essay, ''A sociology for women,'' begins by calling attention to a ''line of fault'': ''a point of rupture in my/our experience as woman/women within the social forms of consciousness - the culture or ideology of our society - in relation to the world known otherwise, the world directly felt, sensed, responded to, prior to its social expression'' (1987: 49). She was pointing to the shift away from embodied experience into a governing, conceptual mode of consciousness associated with the ''ruling relations'' of industrial capitalism (1999). She saw in most women's lives in that period...
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Bisexuality Essay
There are at least four different meanings associated with the term bisexuality. Firstly, in early sexology bisexuality was conceived of as a primordial state of hermaphroditism prior to sexual differentiation. Secondly, bisexuality has been invoked to describe the co-presence of ''feminine'' and ''masculine'' psychological traits in a human being. Thirdly, bisexuality has provided the concept to account for people's propensity to be sexually attracted to both men and women. This is currently the most common understanding of bisexuality. Fourthly, bisexuality is frequently seen as a pervasive ''middle ground''...
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Black Feminist Thought Essay
Black feminist thought is a collection of ideas, writings, and art that articulates a standpoint of and for black women of the African diaspora. It describes black women as a unique group that exists in a ''place'' in US social relations where intersectional processes of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation shape black women's individual and collective consciousness and actions. As a standpoint theory, black feminist thought conceptualizes identities as fluid and interdependent socially constructed ''locations'' within a historical context. It is grounded in black women's historical experience with...
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Body and Sexuality Essay
The sex, gender and sexuality of the human body have both intertwined and disjointed histories within society, deeming some classifications as normal/healthy and others as pathological/sickly. Eighteenth-century science especially exacerbated the oppositional nature between categories of sex, gendered experiences and sexuality, constructing them as universally biologically determined. The discovery of the hormone in 1905 provided the first biological justification for a difference between female and male bodies. Although the previous common belief was that there were two types of hormones - one for each sex - studies...
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  Globalization Research Paper Topics
Essay on Controversies over Sustainable Development
Controversies over Sustainable Development Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. Sustainable development often means designing pollution and waste out of the manufacturing cycle (industrial ecology) and thinking about a product in terms of its total life span, beyond its point of sale (also known as product life cycle management). Additionally, clean production may require a substantial investment in new technology and plants that is prohibitive to small business enterprises. These requirements challenge businesses and industries in virtually all sectors of an economy to change what they are doing and how they are doing it. What makes the task of change even harder is the fact that many established businesses and industries have been subsidized directly or indirectly...
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Essay on Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Sustainability and Sustainable Development Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. Sustainability literally means the capacity to endure. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Commission, applied the term to development--officially, sustainable development--as that which "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." That definition was written into the Swiss federal constitution and is similar to the seventh generation philosophy articulated in the Iroquois Confederacy. It mandated that chiefs of that Native American nation must look seven generations into the future to consider the effects of their actions on their descendants before making a move...
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Essay on Globalization and Environmental Issues
Globalization and Environmental Issues Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. If there is a perspective that has potential to be a positive rationale for globalization, it might be an environmental or ecological one. One of the most significant issues pushing some cooperative means of globalization is the environment, as we consider the ecological effects of human activities on a planetary scale. Global warming, ozone depletion, and the myriad means of industrial pollution whose effects are felt worldwide make it clear that, in the absence of a global response, we will all individually suffer serious consequences. As much as we like to divide up the planet in human terms, laying out the grid lines of political boundaries and economic relationships, the fundamental...
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Essay on Globalization Politics and Resistance
Globalization Politics and Resistance Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. In the political realm, the United Nations (UN) has, in theory, the potential to be a body that--while respecting the national boundaries of its member states--works to find constructive ways of collectively responding to regional and global issues. Whether its first 60 years reflects such an ideal or whether instead the UN has been a facade behind which coercion has been wielded by one group against another is a subject for debate; in the absence of a clear global mandate for intervention or the effective economic and military means to intervene, moreover, even within a coercive framework, it is hard to see the UN as a model for good global government. In the larger...
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Essay on The Global Village: Globalization and Standardization
The Global Village: Globalization and Standardization Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. There is a difference between globalization and standardization. It is important to distinguish the two, especially in light of the social and cultural requirements of industrial (and postindustrial) society. A very strong case can be made that the impulse to globalize is an effort to regularize and systematize the messy world of human relations into something that fits a mass-production, mass-consumption model. From the introduction of the factory system (1750) onward, industrial processes have become more and more efficient, systematizing and standardizing the elements of production, including the human ones. Ursula Franklin (1999) refers to the emergence...
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  Health Research Paper Topics
Aging, Mental Health, and Well-Being Essay
Social factors are strongly implicated in mental health and well-being throughout life, including old age. Sociologists argue that mental health and subjective well-being are powerful indicators of how well societies serve their members both individually and collectively. That is, effective societies not only meet the basic needs of their members, but also provide the conditions and opportunities that sustain emotional health and perceptions that life is good. The vast majority of Americans are relatively free of psychiatric or emotional symptoms and are generally satisfied with their lives. This pattern is at least as strong for older adults as for young and middle-aged adults. Comparison of research based on older samples with those from age-heterogeneous samples reveals...
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Sociology of Aging Essay
The sociology of aging is both broad and deep. The breadth of the field can be highlighted in several ways. First, the sociology of aging encompasses investigations of aging as a process, of older adults as a group, and of old age as a distinctive stage of the life course. Second, aging research is performed at multiple levels of analysis, from macro-level studies of age structure within and across societies, to meso-level studies of labor-force participation and family structure, to micro-level investigations of health and wellbeing. Third, aging research uses the full repertoire of methods that characterize the discipline, including life tables and other demographic methods, survey research, ethnographic methods, and observational studies. The depth of the...
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Body and Society Essay
Since the late 1980s there has been growing interest in the sociology of the body. The sociology of the body has been divided analytically into two distinctive, often contradictory, approaches. These two traditions represent alternative answers to the question: is the human body socially constructed? In social constructionist approaches, the body is treated as a system of cultural representations. In the phenomenological tradition, the "lived body" is studied in the everyday world of social interaction. The body is often studied as a cultural representation of social life. In this sociological and anthropological tradition, research considers the ways in which the body enters into political discourse as a representation of power, and how power is exercised over the body...
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Complementary and Alternative Medicine Essay
Various terms have been bandied around over the past several decades for a wide array of heterodox medical systems, ranging from professionalized to folk medical systems. Within the US context, the term that has become commonplace in various circles is complementary and alternative medicine, whereas, for example, in Australia it is simply complementary medicine. What has come to be termed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is actually an amorphous category that encompasses many medical systems and therapies in various national contexts, but particularly Anglophone countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Whereas alternative practitioners and laypeople have tended to speak of holistic health, CAM and integrative medicine...
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Death and Dying Essay
Sociology of death and dying is the study of the ways that beliefs, behavior, and institutional arrangements concerning death are structured by social contexts. Although death is a universal human experience, societal responses to death vary according to cultural values, and contextual factors including the primary causes of death, and normative age at which death occurs. Conceptualizations of and practices surrounding death in the USA have come full circle over the past two centuries. In the eighteenth century, death was public and visible. Death tended to occur at a young age, at home, and due to incurable infectious diseases. Survivors expressed their grief in dramatic ways, and made elaborate efforts to memorialize the dead. Throughout the late nineteenth and most of the...
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  Leaders and Activists
Brigham Young Biography Essay
Brigham Young Biography Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Biographies of Famous People. Brigham Young was an early convert to the Mormon Church, which was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Young's relative by marriage. Young quickly advanced within the Mormon hierarchy, becoming president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the governing body of the church). After Smith's death in 1844, various leaders asserted their claims to become his successor. Rather than settling on a single candidate, the Mormon Church splintered into sects, each with its own leader. Young became the president...
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Victoria Woodhull Biography Essay
Victoria Woodhull Biography Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Biographies of Famous People. Victoria Woodhull (nee Claflin) was born on September 23, 1838, on an Ohio farm. She was married to the physician Canning Woodhull at the age of fourteen, acquiring the name she would use professionally throughout her life. Her husband, an alcoholic, never provided for her or their two children. By the time of the Civil War, Woodhull's parents were in the business of promoting her younger sister, Tennessee (or Tennie C.) Claflin, as a "magnetic healer," claiming that she could cure disease through mesmerism...
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Ida B. Wells Biography Essay
Ida B. Wells Biography Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Biographies of Famous People. Ida B. Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on July 16, 1862. When her parents and a younger brother died in a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, she accepted the first of several jobs as a rural schoolteacher to help support her six younger brothers and sisters. Success as a freelance writer eventually led to a career as a newspaper journalist and editor. Through newspaper articles and lectures, she quickly gained fame as a crusader against lynching. In addition to numerous newspaper and...
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton Biography Essay
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Biography Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Biographies of Famous People. Elizabeth Cady was born on November 12, 1815, to Daniel Cady, a judge, and Margaret Livingston Cady, a homemaker, in Johnstown, New York. Raised with four sisters and one brother, she led the life of a privileged miss. When her older brother died, her grieving father told the eleven-year-old Cady that he wished she were a boy. In turn, the girl promised him that she would try to be all her brother had been. She resolved to be manly, becoming good at sports and pursuing the study of Greek...
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Margaret Sanger Biography Essay
Margaret Sanger Biography Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Biographies of Famous People. Margaret Higgins was born into a working-class family on September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York, the sixth of eleven children. Her father, a stonecutter, was an activist for woman suffrage and Socialism. Sanger was educated at St. Mary's School in Corning, New York, and then attended Claverack College in Claverack and the Hudson River Institute in Hudson. She left school in 1899, owing to the financial constraints of her family. After caring for her mother in her final illness, Sanger enrolled...
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  Management Research Paper Topics
Bureaucratic Personality Essay
In his seminal work on the dysfunctions of bureaucracy, Robert Merton suggested that the values and attitudes necessary for the bureaucratic official to make a useful contribution are embraced to such a degree that the needs of the organization become secondary to the workings of the bureaucracy itself. Attention switches from the goals of the organization to the details of the control system. Rules become ends in themselves rather than means to ends, and are applied in a ritualistic manner regardless of circumstances. Rigid compliance with formal procedures, and a punctilious insistence on observing regulations, may cause the bureaucrat to lose sight of what really needs to be done. Behavior becomes so rule oriented that it is impossible to satisfy clients, giving rise to pejorative...
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Social Institutions of Capitalism Essay
The concept of capitalism refers to the idea that certain societies allow economic actors to rationally organize the social and financial capital at their disposal in pursuit of perpetually renewed private profits. The organizational forms actors have chosen to organize economic transactions vary, but an oft-used classification distinguishes between formal organizations, markets for the exchange of capital, goods, and services, and organization-market ''hybrids'' like interorganizational networks and alliances. As these organizational forms represent the core engines of production and exchange in capitalist societies, they are typically referred to as the economic institutions of capitalism. But although economic institutions are necessary ingredients of capitalist societies...
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Routinization of Charisma Essay
The routinization of charisma relates to Max Weber's (1968: 212-54) typology of pure types of legitimate, social power (reinen Typen legitimer Herrschaft) (Weber 1956: 122-5; 1968: 212-7). Charisma stems from ''an exceptional (originally attributed to prophets, people with healing or legal knowledge, great hunters or war heroes: as magically instilled), valued quality'' endowing a person with ''supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional - not those normally found - powers and qualities that are divine gifts [gottgesandt] or exemplary [vorbildlich] and thus valued in a leader [Fuhrer]''(Weber 1956: 140; 1968: 241).Attributed to various persons, charisma exists among those ''conventionally assessed'' as ''the 'greatest' heroes, prophets, and saviours''(Weber 1956:140; 1968: 241)...
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Cathedrals and Landscapes of Consumption Essay
Although George Ritzer (2005) is the theorist most responsible for popularizing the phrase ''cathedrals of consumption,'' it has been used at least since Kowinski, who stated that ''malls are sometimes called cathedrals of consumption, meaning that they are the monuments of a new faith, the consumer religion, which has largely replaced the old'' (1985: 218). These geographies are self-contained consumption settings that utilize postmodern techniques such as implosion, the compression of time and space, and simulation to create spectacular locales designed to attract consumers. They can be considered cathedrals because, much like their religious counterparts, they ''are seen as fulfilling people's need to connect with each other and with nature, as well as their need to participate...
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Ideal Type Essay
Max Weber designed his use of the ideal type to solve the problem of comparison. All historical events are unique. Forcing these into some overall framework would do violence to the integrity of local detail. Capturing the general abstract qualities of a phenomenon in a mental model enables the construction of a refined and general version of the specific cases that might be met in reality. What an ideal type captures is meaning: what counts for history is always the meaning of the people concerned in its production and interpretation. As Weber conceived them, ideal types were hypothetical ideational types that serve as a mental model that analysts can agree captures some essential features of a phenomenon. The ideal type does not correspond to reality but seeks to condense...
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  Marriage Research Paper Topics
Carework Essay
Carework refers to the work of caring for others, including unpaid care for family members and friends, as well as paid care for others. Caring work includes taking care of children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled, as well as domestic work such as cleaning and cooking. As reproductive labor, carework is necessary to society. By deploying the term ''carework,'' scholars and advocates emphasize the importance of recognizing that care is not simply a natural response to those in need, but hard physical, mental, and emotional work, which is often unequally distributed. Because care tends to be economically devalued...
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Childhood Essay
In the past few decades, childhood has received extensive academic attention from sociology. Previous studies on the topic have approached childhood primarily from a psychological perspective. They have especially focused on childhood as a time for cognitive development and psychological maturity. In the discipline of sociology, the area of childhood has not been fully neglected, but rather marginalized until relatively recently. Children have typically been portrayed as adults in training, so their individual needs, motives and desires have been ignored. In fact, children's needs and desires have been associated...
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Cohabitation Essay
The past few decades have brought dramatic changes in the residential arrangements of romantically involved unmarried adults. Indeed, as sexual activity has become uncoupled from marriage, growing numbers of young couples have begun sharing a home and a bed without the legal sanction of marriage. Cohabitation, as this type of living arrangement is commonly known, has become a normative part of the adult life course. Determining the prevalence of cohabitation is a challenging task. Given the nature of today's dating and mating patterns, measuring trends in cohabitation is a highly subjective undertaking. Legal...
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Divisions of Household Labor Essay
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, economic production was organized around the home, and households were relatively self-sufficient. Households were multifunctional, acting, among other things, as eating establishment, educational institution, factory, and infirmary. Everyone belonging to the household, including family members, servants, and apprentices, did their part in the household's productive labor. The word ''housework,'' first used in 1841 in England and in 1871 in the USA, would have made little sense prior to that time, since all work was focused in and around the home. Over the course of the nineteenth century...
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Divorce Essay
A major social trend during the past century has been a global increase in the divorce rate. During the second half of the twentieth century divorce rates increased in most industrialized countries. Some of the social characteristics that appear to have contributed to the increase in the divorce rate are increased individualism, increasing marital expectations, the economic independence of women, and no-fault divorce laws. During the past 30 years there has been a gradual decrease in the US divorce rate. Divorce is a complex process influenced by many social and individual characteristics. Factors that have been found...
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  Politics and Law Research Paper Topics
Anarchism Research Paper
Anarchism signifies the condition of being without rule. Anarchism, then, has often been equated with chaos. This interpretation was lent weight by the period of anarchist ''propaganda by deed'' towards the end of the nineteenth century. For most anarchists, though, their political allegiances involve opposition to the intrusiveness, destructiveness, and artificiality of state authority, the rejection of all forms of domination and hierarchy, and the desire to construct a social order based on free association. Anarchism is, however, a heterogeneous political field, containing a host of variations - for instance, organization versus spontaneity, peaceful transition versus violence, individualist versus collectivist means and ends, romanticism versus science, and existential versus structural critique of domination. Although anarchism has been traced back, say, to millenarian sects of the Middle Ages, anarchism is properly a nineteenth-century ideology and movement, and anarchists are...
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Authoritarianism Research Paper
The concept of authoritarianism has been used mainly to refer to a type of authority whose power is exercised within diffuse legal, institutional, or de facto boundaries that easily leads to arbitrary acts against groups and individuals. Those who are in power are not accountable to constituencies and public policy does not derive from social consent. Within sociology and political science, particularly within comparative politics, authoritarianism has been understood as a modern type of political regime. This notion has had an important conceptual development since the 1970s, which clarified some ambiguities within political analyses that tended to mix up this type of regime with fascism and other forms of totalitarianism. The concept of authoritarianism has included a range of regimes, from personal dictatorships such as Franco's in...
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Authority Research Paper
Authority is often defined as legitimate power, and contrasted to pure power. In the case of legitimate authority, compliance is voluntary and based on a belief in the right of the authority to demand compliance. Max Weber provided a famous classification of forms of legitimate authority in terms of the defining type of legitimating belief. Weber identifies four distinct ''bases'' of legitimacy, three of which are directly associated with forms of authority. The fourth - value-rational faith - legitimates authority indirectly by providing a standard of justice to which particular earthly authorities might claim to correspond. The forms of authority are charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal. Each of these forms can serve on its own as the core of a system of domination. Traditional authority is based on unwritten rules; rational-legal authority on written rules. Unwritten rules may be justified by the belief that they have held true since time immemorial, while written rules are...
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Citizenship Research Paper
Citizenship refers to membership in a political community organized as a territorial or national state. The nature and content of citizenship varies with the form of state. Citizenship in the classic Greek polis, for instance, provided membership to a political elite, whereas modern liberal democratic citizenship provides opportunity to vote in a political election cycle. Sociological theories, however, recognize that citizenship has more than a mere political dimension. Types of citizenship can be characterized in terms of two distinct axes or dimensions, one being access to citizenship status and the other being the quality of the rights and duties that attach to citizenship. Rules of access to citizenship separate citizens from noncitizens. Two alternative legal possibilities include jus sanguinis or citizenship by descent and jus soli or citizenship by birthplace. Which of these operates can have large consequences for persons who have moved across national boundaries either through the...
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Civil Society Research Paper
Civil society is often understood as a defense against excessive state power and atomized individualism, which otherwise threatens to create conditions for authoritarianism. The term can be traced to Roman civil law (jus civile) but its contemporary use to describe contractual relations, the rise of public opinion, representative government, civic freedoms, plurality, and ''civility'' first appeared in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century political philosophy notably in Hobbes's theory of a ''social contract'' between civil and political branches of the state and then Locke's theory of natural rights that inhere in civil society. Civil society is a relatively autonomous sphere separate from and constraining the state. Though initially based on socially exclusive networks (aristocratic men in coffeehouse society) civil society theories envisaged a space for debate and private association at a time when such liberal principles were not widely shared. Ferguson (1966 [1767]) saw the...
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  Race and Ethnicity Research Paper Topics
Accommodation Research Paper
Accommodation was one of the four features of Robert Park and Ernest Burgess's model of social interaction. Though the concept illustrated racial and ethnic social changes taking place in the USA and the rest of the world during the last half of the nineteenth century and the first two or three decades of the twentieth, and for this reason lacks a certain relevance today, there are still aspects of the term, as defined by Park and Burgess, which might provide insights into specific patterns of racial and ethnic interaction and aid in our understanding of the dynamics of social change. Utilizing Simmel's model of dominance and its pivotal role in superordinate and subordinate relations, Park and Burgess describe accommodation as a procedure which limits conflicts and cements relations, in that groups and individuals recognize dominant individuals and groups as well as their positions within these super- and subordinate relations. On the surface, and in theory, this logic appears to be one...
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Assimilation Research Paper
Assimilation is reemerging as a core concept for comprehending the long-run consequences of immigration, both for the immigrants and their descendants and for the society that receives them. This new phase could be described as a second life for a troubled concept. In its first life, assimilation was enthroned as the reigning idea in the study of ethnicity and race. In the USA, where the theoretical development of assimilation mainly took place, this period began with the studies of the Chicago School in the early twentieth century and ended not long after the canonical statement of assimilation theory, Milton Gordon's Assimilation in American Life, appeared in the mid-1960s. In this first phase, assimilation did double duty - on the one hand, as popular ideology for interpreting the American experience and, correlatively, an ideal expressing the direction in which ethnic and racial divisions were evolving in the USA; and, on the other, as the foundational concept for the social scientific...
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Authoritarian Personality Research Paper
The authoritarian personality is a psychological syndrome of traits that correlates highly with outgroup prejudice. Three personality traits in particular characterize the syndrome: deference to authorities, aggression toward outgroups, and rigid adherence to cultural conventions. Thus, authoritarians hold a rigidly hierarchical view of the world. Nazi Germany inspired the first conceptualizations. The Frankfurt School, combining Marxism, psychoanalysis, and sociology, introduced the syndrome to explain Hitler's popularity among working- class Germans. Social psychologists soon demonstrated the syndrome in the USA. In 1950, the major publication by Adorno et al., The Authoritarian Personality, appeared. The product of two German refugees and two US social psychologists from Berkeley, this publication firmly established the concept in social science. Its easily administered F (for fascism) Scale led to an explosion of more than 2,000 published research papers. Critics disparaged the work on political...
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Caste Research Paper: Inequalities Past and Present
To categorize different forms of stratification systems sociologists most frequently examine the way resources such as wealth, power, and prestige are acquired in society. In some societies, such valued resources are acquired on the basis of achievement or merit. In others, these resources are accorded to individuals on the basis of ascribed, not achieved, characteristics. The idea of ascribed and achieved status is used to contrast caste systems with class systems. In class systems one's opportunities in life, at least in theory, are determined by one's actions, allowing a degree of individual mobility that is not possible in caste systems. In caste systems a person's social position is determined by birth, and social intercourse outside one's caste is prohibited. Caste systems are to be found among the Hindus in India. Examples of caste-like systems can also be found in other non-Hindu societies such as Japan, during the Tokugawa period, and South Africa, during the era of apartheid. The term ''caste'' itself...
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Civil Rights Movement Research Paper
The struggle for civil rights for African Americans is one which has spanned centuries. After emancipation from slavery and the Fourteenth Amendment which granted them citizenship, African Americans were still denied basic civil rights guaranteed by the US constitution. In the South, Jim Crow was a system of segregation that was institutionalized after the 1896 Plessey v. Ferguson decision which stated that ''separate but equal'' public facilities were constitutional. In practice however, public spaces for African Americans were almost always inferior to those of whites. Prior to the modern Civil Rights Movement African American hopes for racial equality rested in integrated education. A series of lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sought to overturn Plessey. The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregated schools in the South and proved that Jim Crow could be challenged and defeated. This was a monumental legislative achievement but...
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  Social Movements and Social Change
Research Paper on Animal Rights Movements
The animal rights movement, which emerged in the 1970s, seeks to end the use of animals as sources of food and experimental subjects. It has challenged traditional animal welfare which seeks to eliminate the unnecessary suffering of animals. Strategically, the animal rights movement is characterized by its willingness to engage in grassroots campaigning and activism which, at its extremes, has included, sometimes violent, forms of direct action. General arguments employed to explain the emergence of the animal rights movement include those based on post-material values, occupation and gender, the latter being seen as particularly appropriate not least given that a preponderance of animal rights activists are women. Other explanations provide room for the independent explanatory validity of people's genuine concern for animals and what is done to...
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Research Paper on Anti-War and Peace Movements
While many people in the USA are only aware of anti-war and peace movements from the 1960s and 1970s period of social unrest, these movements have been in existence since long before. Peace and antiwar movements are social movements that concentrate on a variety of issues related to violence, armed conflict, war, domination and oppression. The goals of the movements vary according to the dominant issue of the moment as well as the time and place in which they exist. For example, while there is an active international anti-nuclear arms movement, these efforts rarely receive mainstream attention in the USA. Common themes of anti-war and peace groups range from ending a specific conflict to the abolition of war, the elimination of weapons as well as the creation of non-violent mechanisms to solve conflicts; such as through the creation of government sponsored committees or departments dedicated to peace rather than defense. Tactics utilized by these groups vary and often mirror the ideology of the group...
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Research Paper on Capitalism
Capital, as a noun referring to the funds individuals or corporations use as the basis for financial operations, is first employed in 1709 within ''An Act for Enlarging the Capital Stock of the Bank of England.'' Capitalism, representing a system where capital is advanced to increase wealth, did not come into use until William Thackeray's 1854 novel, The Newcomes. Capitalism may refer to an economic, political and/or social system (e.g. feudalism, capitalism, communism), a broad historical period, or specific forms within that period (e.g. mercantile, industrial, finance, monopoly, or late capitalism). It is often politically encumbered through association with Marx's and other socialist or communist critiques of capitalism (although Marx never used ''capitalism'' in The Manifesto or Capital - first employing it in his late-1870s correspondence). Werner Sombart tried to depoliticize the term, maintaining it was an analytical concept applicable to a specific socioeconomic system. As such, capitalism is a system that...
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Research Paper on Civil Rights Movement
The struggle for civil rights for African Americans is one which has spanned centuries. After emancipation from slavery and the Fourteenth Amendment which granted them citizenship, African Americans were still denied basic civil rights guaranteed by the US constitution. In the South, Jim Crow was a system of segregation that was institutionalized after the 1896 Plessey v. Ferguson decision which stated that ''separate but equal'' public facilities were constitutional. In practice however, public spaces for African Americans were almost always inferior to those of whites. Prior to the modern Civil Rights Movement African American hopes for racial equality rested in integrated education. A series of lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sought to overturn Plessey. The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregated schools in the South and proved that Jim Crow could be challenged and defeated. This was a monumental legislative achievement but...
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Research Paper on Civil Society
Civil society is often understood as a defense against excessive state power and atomized individualism, which otherwise threatens to create conditions for authoritarianism. The term can be traced to Roman civil law (ius civile) but its contemporary use to describe contractual relations, the rise of public opinion, representative government, civic freedoms, plurality, and ''civility'' first appeared in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century political philosophy notably in Hobbes's theory of a ''social contract'' between civil and political branches of the state and then Locke's theory of natural rights that inhere in civil society. Civil society is a relatively autonomous sphere separate from and constraining the state. Though initially based on socially exclusive networks (aristocratic men in coffeehouse society) civil society theories envisaged a space for debate and private association at a time when such liberal principles were not widely shared. Ferguson (1966 [1767]) saw the...
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  Social Networking Research Paper Topics
Essay on New Forms of Social Networking
New Forms of Social Networking Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Online Social Networking. Besides the ever-expanding groups of new users online, the way in which people experience social networks will also evolve. The initial thrill of MySpace and Facebook may give way to more specific niche sites as users target their interests. Many new sites cater to smaller, more focused groups of people. One example of a niche site that aims to connect athletes with recruiters and coaches is beRecruited.com. Alison Wong, a seventeen-year-old hockey player, signed on to the site after her father discovered it online. She posted information that colleges might be interested in--SAT scores, hockey stats, and some personal information. She also included the link to her be Recruited profile...
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Essay on The Future of Online Social Networking
The Future of Online Social Networking Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Online Social Networking. Online social networking is more than just a fad. Every day, it evolves and adapts to users. Some people welcome this change, while others fear it. What started out as a place for friends to hang out online is being embraced by people of all ages and backgrounds. Businesses, politicians, churches, libraries, and activists all experience the power of these sites. Social networks are not just for spare-time fun anymore. They are swiftly becoming an integral part of daily life. New users, new uses, and even new forms of online social networking are all changes that will create the future of social networking. Shari Chiara, a marketing manager at IBM Corporation, logs on...
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Essay on Social Networks and Cyberterrorism
Social Networks and Cyberterrorism Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Online Social Networking. Online social networking connects people from different backgrounds and countries. Unfortunately, what began as a place to share information and socialize also offers a place for terrorists and other extremists to conduct a new type of warfare--cyberterrorism. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, cyberterrorism is "the use of information technology by terrorist groups and individuals to further their agenda."1 Cyberterrorism includes hacking into computer systems, spreading viruses, bringing Web sites offline, or making online threats. With the rise of online social networking, terrorists have expanded their presence. They have become active in forums...
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Essay on Who Is Reading Social Network Sites?
Who Is Reading Social Network Sites? Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Online Social Networking. As noted in the Pew study, most users are at least thinking about privacy decisions and taking steps to protect themselves from strangers online. But what happens when the person reading a profile is not a stranger? As the popularity of social networks continues to grow, users find themselves online with more than just a circle of friends. Suddenly, parents, teachers, university admission officers, and future employers are online and reading user profiles. One of the biggest risks for social network users is posting content without thinking about who exactly will be reading it. What seems like a funny picture to share with friends may not be so impressive to a teacher or college...
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Essay on Making Privacy Decisions in Social Networks
Making Privacy Decisions in Social Networks Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Online Social Networking. While teens are posting more personal content online, a 2007 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that most teens are aware of privacy concerns and do take some steps to protect themselves online. They make decisions as to which information should be restricted to friends and what should be posted for a broader audience. The study found that 66 percent of teens with an online profile restrict it in some way. Restrictions could be in the form of making profiles private, using a password protection feature, hiding profiles, or taking them offline entirely. How much teens decide to share varies from person to person. The user's age and gender frequently play...
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  Social Psychology Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Accounts
An account, as the term is most commonly used in sociology, refers to statements that explain disruptions in the social and moral order. In this sense, accounts are linguistic devices by which actors attempt to reposition themselves as socially acceptable and morally reputable in the face of imputations of deviance or failure. Although the concept of accounts has roots in C. Wright Mills's 1940 article on ''Situated actions and the vocabularies of motives,'' in Gresham Sykes and David Matza's 1957 article on ''Techniques of neutralization,'' and more generally in the work of Erving Goffman, the term itself was introduced in its distinctive sociological sense by Marvin Scott and Sanford Lyman in their 1968 article, entitled simply ''Accounts.'' Accounts may be classified by what they accomplish, by their functions and consequences, both for individual actors and for the social and moral order. First, accounts may restore breaches in the social order. Second, accounts, even taken narrowly as explanations of...
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Research Paper on Affect Control Theory
Affect control theory (ACT) is grounded in symbolic interactionist insights about the importance of using language and symbols to define situations. The theory begins with the assertion that people reduce uncertainty by developing ''working understandings'' of their social worlds. They label parts of social situations, using language available to them. After creating this definition, they are motivated to maintain it. ACT assumes that our labeling of situations evokes affective meanings. These affective meanings, rather than specific labels, are what we try to maintain during interaction. The theory is formalized in three parts: the measurement of affect, event reaction equations, and mathematical statement of the control process. Scope statements specify the conditions under which a theory applies. There are specific conditions that limit ACT's applicability: a social behavior must be directed toward an object (e.g., another person); there must be at least one observer who is a member of a language culture...
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Research Paper on Aggression
Aggression is any behavior that is directed toward injuring, harming, or inflicting pain on another living being or group of beings. Generally, the victim(s) of aggression must wish to avoid such behavior in order for it to be considered true aggression. Hostile aggression is an aggressive act that results from anger, and is intended to inflict pain or injury. Instrumental aggression is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury. The concept of aggression is broad, and includes many categories of behavior (street crime, child abuse, war, etc.). Theories on aggression are commonly categorized according to the three variables that are present whenever any aggressive act is committed. First, aggressors are examined in terms of the causes of their actions. Research/theories have devoted particular attention to biological, psychopathological, social learning, and rational choice explanations for aggression, in addition to a variety of other influences (such as drugs, alcohol, arousal, etc.)...
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Research Paper on Asch Experiments
Solomon Asch (1907-96) conducted pioneering social psychological experiments on group conformity, and processes of person perception. His conformity experiments are of particular importance. In these experiments, college students were told they were participating in a study on visual perception (by matching the length of one line to three others). In truth, the experiment was intended to measure the extent of conformity to group norms and perceptions, even when those norms/perceptions conflicted with their own interpretation of reality. After a series of confederates intentionally gave incorrect answers in the experiment, approximately one-third of the participants conformed to these incorrect answers in a majority of trials. Approximately one-fourth refused to conform in any of the trials. And, while the majority of individual responses given in the experiment reflected independence from the group, a clear majority (approximately three-fourths) of the participants displayed a capacity to engage in this extreme...
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Research Paper on Attitudes and Behavior
The role of attitudes in guiding behavior is an enduring social psychological concern. Two explanatory paradigms have emerged. One approach is grounded in positivism and deductive theorizing. The other is inductive and phenomenological, emphasizing process and construction. Gordon Allport in the mid-1930s (1935: ''Attitudes''), articulated the positivist approach, when he defined attitudes as mental states which direct one's response, placing attitudes in a causal, directive role. This laid the groundwork for a deductive, scientific approach to the relationship between attitudes and behavior. Attitudes were intrapersonal, psychological tendencies expressed through favorable or unfavorable evaluation of objects. This approach has dominated contemporary research. Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen in the Theory of Reasoned Action have become the most widely known exemplars of this approach. Their four-stage, recursive model posits that attitudes explain behavioral intentions, if it is not coerced and nothing else...
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  Social Security Research Paper Topics
Essay on Social Security Controversies
Social Security Controversies Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. Politicians and the media frequently warn that Social Security is headed for bankruptcy. Not true. The Social Security program is not a cause of the federal government's current deficit and debt concerns. In fact, the program has been running surpluses since 1984 (Gregory 2010). The federal General Fund experienced an annual surplus of $86 billion in 2000, meaning that taxpayers contributed more in all federal taxes than was spent in all federal programs and operations. However, that surplus fell year by year after 2000 because of tax cuts, funding for wars, and other government spending to a deficit of $1.55 trillion in 2009 (Congressional Budget Office 2010a). By contrast, the Social Security...
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Essay on The History of Social Security
The History of Social Security Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. The American dream is about freedom and financial security. But it is possible to lose everything. One day a person has a job, a family, and a house. Then there is a layoff , an accident, an illness, or the death of a breadwinner. One misfortune piles upon another. As late as the 1930s (and even in the 1940s), a person with no income or savings and no children to take him or her in risked going to the "poorhouse." By the time Social Security became law in 1935, every state except New Mexico had poorhouses. Sometimes called almshouses or poor farms, their existence is a little known fact in U.S. history today. Yet there were thousands of such places across the country, and becoming an inmate...
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Essay on Retirement and Social Security
Retirement and Social Security Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. Retirement is an economic-based term that traditionally refers to the ending of paid work, often signaling the end of one's professional or work career. In the United States, retirement is usually accompanied by the receipt of Social Security to provide income, Medicare to cover some health care costs, and private retirement accounts or pensions to supplement savings. One basic aspect of the retirement...
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Research Paper on Pensions and Social Security Policies
Pensions and Social Security Policies Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Security. Pensions and Social Security are programs designed to provide some measure of financial security to people during their retirement years. A variety of policies and programs have developed over time to address the kinds of problems faced by many, although not all, of the elderly. The situation can be particularly challenging for those widows and widowers who seldom worked and thus depend on resources acquired by their spouses. To address the problem of many elderly losing their savings and jobs during the Great Depression, a variety of new social welfare programs came into existence under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, including a new system of old age insurance...
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  Society & Civilization Research Paper Topics
Essay on Transnational Social Movements
Transnational Social Movements Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. Transnational social movements are movements whose members, organizations, or actions involve more than one nation. Some examples of contemporary transnational social movements are the global justice movement, the women's movements, the human rights movement, and the indigenous people's movements. Many social movement scholars link the emergence of transnational social movements to the contemporary processes of globalization...
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Essay on Social Constructionist Theory
Social Constructionist Theory Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. Social constructionist theory is a paradigm based upon uncovering the methods by which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality. The approach involves examining how social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into an agreed-upon tradition. Social construction is understood as an ongoing process, as reality is constantly being (re)produced...
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Essay on Theories of Social Change
Theories of Social Change Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. Social change can occur throughout an entire society or within parts of a society like groups, communities, or regions. It can have a variety of causes, including the efforts of individuals and groups to address social problems. For analytic purposes, social change may be considered as any fundamental alteration in (a) the structure of existing relationships of a society or parts of a society...
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Essay on Social Bond Theory
Social Bond Theory Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. Social bond theory (sometimes called "social control theory") diverges from some theories of deviant behavior that try to explain why people deviate, as it focuses on explaining why people conform to the extent that they do. The theory assumes that without social control in effect, people would deviate from societal norms. The general principle permeating varieties of social bond theories is that bonds...
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Essay on Social Networks
Social Networks Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Controversial Topics. A social network is a style of organization of social relationships characterized by highly mobile, interconnected links between individuals or groups. Such connections may take many forms, from business relationships based on status to relationships between friends. Social networks exist in flux as new nodal connections are formed and those rarely used become weaker. No formal division exists between...
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  Sociological Methods Research Paper Topics
Free Essay on ANOVA (Analysis of Variance)
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is a statistical technique for detecting differences among the means of groups within a sample. It is one of several techniques of the ''general linear model.'' In the basic case, a sample is divided into groups based on values of one discrete independent variable with a small number of categories. Within each group, the means for a second variable, the dependent variable, are calculated. The difference in the means for the different groups is compared to the variation of the individual cases within each group around that group's mean. The larger the difference in the means (relative to the variation around each mean), the more likely it is that the means are significantly different, and the less likely that one would make a type I (alpha)...
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Free Essay on Bell Curve
The bell curve provides a foundation for the majority of statistical procedures in sociology. Conceptually it is a histogram, but with such fine distinctions between outcomes that it is a line in the shape of a bell. Beneath this curve are all possible outcomes, with the outcomes on the x-axis and the y-axis describing the proportion or probability for each outcome. The ''tails'' of the curve extend indefinitely. The shape is symmetrical and unimodal, so that the distribution's mean, median, and mode are identical and in the center of the distribution. In the distribution one standard deviation from the mean is 34.13 percent of the area under the curve, two standard deviations is 47.72 percent of the area under the curve, and three standard deviations is 49.87 percent of the...
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Free Essay on Biography
Biography has long been a part of the social sciences, having been introduced in different disciplines as ''case histories'' (psychiatry), ''life histories'' (anthropology), ''personal documents'' (sociology, psychology), and, more recently, ''life stories'' (linguistics, oral history), each focused on understanding individuals as the unit of analysis. Recent years have seen more interdisciplinary dialogue seeking to redefine the importance of individual lives to broader social and cultural phenomena. Anthropology, which made the recording of individual lives in an interview setting a cornerstone of ethnographic methodology, is but one of many disciplinary sources for narrative and biographical approaches in the social sciences today. But it remains a pivotal...
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Free Essay on Chance and Probability
Chance is an informal concept, sometimes meaning probability, sometimes meaning randomness. Probability is a formal mathematical concept expressed in its most simple form as dependent probability, which is a number between zero and one that represents the likelihood that, for example, a person with one property will have another property. Thus the probability of a live birth being female is a dependent probability in which the two properties are live birth and female. Probabilities may also be assigned to beliefs. It is commonly asserted that social processes are probabilistic and that causal relations in social sciences are probabilistic. This means that the causal relationships or processes are not deterministic. However, it is only very infrequently that dependent probabilities...
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Free Essay on Computer-Aided Analysis
Software for qualitative data analysis (QDA) allows the analyst to systematically index and organize the data and then to retrieve the data reliably and flexibly in many different ways. For example, it can facilitate finding all the data the analyst has previously identified as indicating a particular theme or conceptual category, and it can facilitate parsing these data into subgroups based on demographic or other categorical or quantitative variables. It can also find all the cases where a theme was not present, or where combinations of themes are present, and so on. There is no one best software program for analyzing qualitative data. Furthermore, there is no one best program for a particular type of research or analytic method. Researchers will sometimes ask ''what's the best...
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  Sociology of Religion
Theology Research Paper
The modern conception of theology as both a faithful and rational or scientific way of talking about God dates from the Christian Middle Ages. Theology as a term is rooted in Greek philosophy, which consisted of three parts: the mythology of the gods, theology as a form of philosophy of nature, and political theology as a public cult. Christendom only reluctantly accepted the term. It is only from the twelfth century onwards that the term theology is commonly used for this science of Christian faith in contrast to the term philosophy. The late Middle Ages finds the term entirely accepted and it is even taken over by Martin Luther. In modern times it is especially used to distinguish between religious philosophy and religious studies on the one hand and Christian doctrine on the other. Christian theology finds its roots in the biblical tradition. In its first phase since the second century, theology was dominated by the apologetical defense of faith from external attack as well as inner gnostic debate...
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Religion and Sexuality Research Paper
Long perceived as major sources of social, political, economic, and even esoteric power, sexuality and religion are logical partners for sociological study. The key connections between these two powerful social institutions lie in religious ritual, social structure and social control, and boundary creation and maintenance. Although much of the study of religion has focused on belief, to individual members of a religion practice is often most central. This holds especially true in the context of sexuality, which is generally practiced - or not - depending on the teachings of a religious group and the practitioner's position within that group. Some religions practice rites that directly involve sexuality. More common than sexual rituals, though, are ritual restrictions on and purifications of sexuality, and important rituals regulate sexuality in the broader culture as well as within a religion - particularly marital rites and the religious practice of celibacy. Several religions consider...
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Secularization Research Paper
Secularization is the result of the process of functional differentiation, which developed different sub-systems (e.g. economy, polity and family) performing particular functions for modern societies (production and distribution of goods and services; taking binding decisions and procreation and mutual support). To guarantee these functions and to communicate with their environment, organizations have been established (enterprises; political parties and families). Each of these organizations functions on the basis of its own medium (money; power; and love) and according to the values of their sub-system and its specific norms. Regarding religion, these organizations affirm their autonomy rejecting religiously prescribed rules - e.g. the separation of church and state; the rejection of church prescriptions about birth control, abortion and euthanasia - which allowed the development of functional rationality. Consequently, the influence of institutional religion is increasingly being...
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Scientology Research Paper
Scientology, or officially the ''Church of Scientology,'' was founded by adherents of Lafayette Ron Hubbard (1911-86) in 1954, but the movement behind Scientology dates back to Hubbard's publication of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental health in 1950. Dianetics was a therapeutic system which Hubbard claimed could cure psychosomatic illness. Dianetics can be described as an attack on what Hubbard considered to be the materialistic position of psychiatry. Hubbard stressed that he wanted to overcome the unspiritual therapeutic strategies he found in psychiatry. In his anthropology, man is basically good and strives for survival of various collectives termed ''dynamics,'' in Dianetics from the individual to that of humanity, and in Scientology up to the ''urge towards existence as infinity,'' termed the ''God Dynamic''. Scientology assumes that a person receives and stores painful memories from this or earlier lives up to billions of years ago, and that these memories lead the individuals...
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Research Paper on Sacred and Profane
The significance of the sacred/profane distinction in sociology is to be most directly credited to Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, where he defines religion as ''a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden - beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all who adhere to them'' (1915: 47). The sacred thus involves things set apart and forbidden. Everything else is profane. As a result, ''profane'' is always easy to define: it is anything within a society that is not sacred. To come to this conclusion about the sacred and its role in establishing a ''single moral community,'' Durkheim read anthropological works, specifically on the Australian aborigines and particularly the role of totems among clans or tribes of what were considered ''primitive'' peoples. This is the significance of the word elementary in the title of his book. Durkheim, like many other early sociologists, believed...
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  Sociology of Science
Technology, Science, and Culture Research Paper
Science and technology were once commonly seen as free from cultural influences. This view was championed in the 1920s by scientists and philosophers known as the ''Vienna Circle'' (Rudolf Carnap, Karl Hempel, Moritz Schlick, and others), who maintained that science produces objective, supra-cultural knowledge via direct observation and logic. The heyday of this notion was brief. By the 1930s, scholars like Boris Hessen, Ludwig Fleck, and Robert Merton argued that cultural, social, political, and economic factors affect science, influencing even the content of scientific theories. Thomas Kuhn asserted in his 1962 Structure of Scientific Revolutions that science experiences sudden changes in fashion - sometimes following broader cultural changes - after which theories and data acquire new meaning. This view was debated by a generation of historians, sociologists and anthropologists of science, spawning what became known as the ''social constructivist'' view of science, which held that what is taken to be...
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Scientific Revolution Research Paper
The scientific revolution was the time when a new way of studying the natural, physical world became widely accepted by a small ''community of scholars.'' But the specific status of that ''new way'' is hotly disputed and the precise historical steps involved in that development are extremely complex. Standard histories are those by Dampier (1966) and Cohen (2001). Cohen stresses the stages involved from initial creative insight to dissemination (orally or in letters, later on in print) and then widespread acceptance. In the seventeenth century there was a significant qualitative transformation in the approach to the study of natural philosophy and that major change is now often called the ''scientific revolution,'' but it is clear that small-scale ''revolutions'' took place before and have happened since. It was at that time that the transition from undifferentiated ''astronomy/ astrology'' and ''alchemy/chemistry'' first really got under way. Moreover, great advances were made in mathematics. Different...
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Free Essay on Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
In the early 1970s, the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) started to dynamically emerge from a broad church of sociological, historical and philosophical reflections upon the very nature, direction, content and truth status of scientific knowledge itself, rather than merely upon the social relations between those who happen to be scientists. Hence, even the heartland of rationality, namely logic and mathematics, should systematically be investigated and explained in terms of its social origin and underpinnings. According to the Strong Program, which originally took form on the basis of an acute critique against Robert Merton's sociological work, as well as of the post- Kuhnian problematic around the relationship between the sociology of science and the sociology of knowledge, this systematic investigation should, in principle, be causal, impartial, symmetrical, and reflexive. Furthermore, ethnomethodological researchers, mainly inspired from the Nietzschean and Wittgensteinian philosophies of...
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Free Essay on Social Construction of Science
In its simplest form, the claim that science is socially constructed means that there is no direct link between nature and our ideas about nature - the products of science are not themselves natural. This claim can be taken to mean different things and a distinction is often made between strong and weak interpretations of social constructivism. The stronger claim would not recognize an independent reality or materiality outside of our perceptions of it, or at least dismiss it as of no relevance as we cannot access it. This stance is, however, not a very common one. A weaker social constructivism tends to leave ontological queries to one side and instead focus on epistemological matters - how we gain knowledge about the world. What we count as knowledge is dependent on, and shaped by, the contexts in which it is created. Knowledge is thus made by people drawing on available cultural material, not preexisting facts in a world outside of human action, waiting to be uncovered. Whereas the idea of...
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Sociology of Science Research Paper
''Science'' is a contested concept. There is no consensus about what it is and some maintain that the question itself is mistaken since there is no ''object,'' science. The two epistemological extremes between which sociological frameworks used in the study of ''science'' move are, first, that nature is recorded by science, provided that science is in a fit state as a social institution to do so, and, second, that science is a social construction and in this sense in principle no different than any other part of culture. If one is convinced of the first proposition one's interest will be directed towards the ''goal'' of science; the institutional norms that regulate the activity of the community of scientists; competition; and the reward structure of science operating through ''recognition'' (citation practices, Nobel prizes, peer review). If one is convinced of the second proposition one will be interested not so much in the institution and community of science but rather in scientific knowledge and the...
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  Sports Research Paper Topics
Globalization and Sport Essay
The emergence and diffusion of modern sport is bound up in a global network marked by power relations and global flows. The development of national and international sports organizations, the growth of competition between national teams, the worldwide acceptance of rules governing specific (western) sport forms, and the establishment of global competitions are all indicative of the globalization of sport. Global sport is connected, but not reducible, to the ideological practices and intentions of specific groups of people from particular countries. The receptivity of national popular cultures to non-indigenous sport products...
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Sexuality and Sport Essay
Michel Foucault, one of the most influential historians of sexuality, argues that sex and sexuality became a pivot for the organization and control of life in modernity, and that sex and sexuality are increasingly central to human affairs to the extent that much of contemporary life has been organized around these concepts. Sport has long been a site for the reproduction of sexual difference, but sexuality occupied a somewhat ''absent presence'' in sport sociological research until the late 1980s and early 1990s. In early studies on sexuality and sport, feminist scholars identified the ''conspiracy of silence'' that...
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Soccer Essay
The game of association football, also known as soccer, involves two competing teams of 11 players. The players attempt to maneuver the football into the opposing team's goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball, and then only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The winning team scores most goals over a set time period, usually 90 minutes. Association football is to be distinguished from those ''football'' codes that allow general ball handling and arm tackling, notably ''American football,'' Australian Rules football, rugby union, and rugby...
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Social Theory and Sport Essay
Sport provides unique opportunities for understanding the complexities of everyday life ranging from the macro to the micro. Macro perspectives include sport as science, politics, class, media, and globalization. Micro orientations focus on preference and participation, socialization, social-psychological outcomes, and sense of self. Coakley (2008) details dominant theoretical perspectives and their relation to the study of sports. As a young field, the areas in need of theoretical attention are vast. While attention to race, class, gender, and media studies have legitmated sport in the wider discipline, other...
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Sport Essay
Like play and games, sport is ancient, ubiquitous, and diverse. Given the multitude of sport forms and the variety of specific sports, and granted the magnitude and complexity of sport in modern society, a full description of sport requires treating the social phenomenon at different levels of analysis, including sport as a unique game occurrence, sport as a particular type of ludic activity, sport as an institutionalized game, sport as a social institution, and sport as a form of social involvement. But for purposes of concise consideration herein, sport is highlighted as an embodied, structured, goaloriented, competitive...
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  Unemployment Research Paper Topics
Essay on The Political Economy of Unemployment
The Political Economy of Unemployment Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. People have very different takes on what, if anything, should be done about unemployment and the hardships it produces. Those on the conservative end of the spectrum have long argued that unemployment is an inevitable feature of the dynamic capitalist economy. The 20th century's most outspoken advocate of free enterprise, Milton Friedman, asserted in Capitalism and Freedom (1962) that severe unemployment was almost always the result of government ineptitude, not ordinary business cycles. He also blamed some unemployment on minimum wage laws, which, therefore, he wanted to see abolished. At the other (left) end of the political spectrum, radical thinkers from Marx onward have...
Free Essay on Unemployment Research Paper Topics» 
Essay on Unemployment Insurance and Poverty
Unemployment Insurance and Poverty Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. When workers lose their jobs not through any fault of their own but because their industry--or the entire economy--is going through a cyclical downturn, most people believe they need and deserve some kind of temporary financial assistance from the government. Such was not always the case. Historically, state assistance to the unemployed could not be legislated as long as the public viewed joblessness as a matter of individual responsibility. During the periodic depressions that characterized the 19th century, even private charity for the unemployed was sometimes decried as "pauperizing"--that is, liable to turn temporary hardship into permanent dependency. But gradually...
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Essay on "Natural" Unemployment, the Phillips Curve, and Okun's Law
"Natural" Unemployment, the Phillips Curve, and Okun's Law Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. At various times from the 1960s onward, economists in the United States have offered opinions about the rate of unemployment that should be considered normal or "natural." If the actual unemployment rate fell below this natural level, it would signal an overheated economy likely to be experiencing inflation. If it rose above the natural level, it would signal slack in the system, suggesting that the economy was performing below its potential. The cumbersome, technical term for the natural rate of unemployment is nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or NAIRU. Economists have tried to determine what the natural rate of unemployment would be in a given...
Free Essay on Unemployment Research Paper Topics» 
Essay on Short- and Long-Term Unemployment
Short- and Long-Term Unemployment Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. The longer a person remains without work, the deeper the impact on finances, family well-being, sense of self-worth, and even health. Some workers are out of a job so briefly they do not even bother to file for unemployment compensation. At the other extreme, some workers spend long months and even years looking in vain for work. Workers who lose their jobs in middle age can be especially devastated, since they often shoulder heavy financial responsibilities and do not have time to start a new career in the working years they have left. During the recession of 2008-2010, observers noted a considerable increase in the amount of time workers typically spent unemployed. So not only were there...
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Essay on The Uneven Impact of Unemployment
The Uneven Impact of Unemployment Research Paper, Custom Essays and Term Papers Writing on Social Issues. Americans experience unemployment in different ways and at different rates, depending on their age, gender, education level, and race or ethnicity. The monthly BLS unemployment report sheds light on all of these differences. For the month of April 2010, the unemployment rate for teenaged workers, ages 16 to 19, was a whopping 25.4 percent. This implied that for every four teenagers who were counted in the labor force (meaning they were either employed or looking for a job), only three were able to find work. For adults age 20 and older, unemployment was far lower, at a little over 9 percent. Gender disparities in unemployment are much smaller than disparities by age. For most of the 2000-2010...
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  Urban Sociology Research Paper Topics
Research Paper on Arcades
Originating in Paris in the 1820s, arcades were decorative passages or walkways through blocks of buildings. Glass-roofed and supported by ornate ironwork columns, arcades formed interior streets; sites of conspicuous consumption for the wealthy, and places of spectacle for the poor. Hemmed in by concession stands and eclectic emporia, arcade shop fronts offered the observer a visual experience of illuminated shop-signs, objets d'art, and a cornucopia of commodities from around the world. Sociologically speaking, the importance of the Parisian arcades lies in their role as progenitor of modern consumerism and more tangentially as a prototype of the contemporary shopping mall. The unearthing of the arcade as a site of sociological and philosophical importance is closely associated with the German literary theorist, Walter Benjamin. Benjamin was fascinated by the arcades, ''mythical'' qualities, viewing them as both ''threatening'' and ''alluring'' - places in which the emotions were stimulated and where the...
Free Essay on Urban Sociology Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on Blockbusting
Blockbusting was prohibited by the Civil Rights (Fair Housing) Act of 1968, which declared it an illegal practice ''for profit, to induce or attempt to induce housing sales ''by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, etc.'' (Section 804[e]). Blockbusting practices occurred sporadically throughout the twentieth century (sometimes under other names, like ''panic peddling''), but reached their peak in the 1950s and 1960s when they served to accelerate massive racial change in residential areas in a large number of American cities. Blockbusters functioned in settings where rigid patterns of residential segregation prevailed, resulting from private discrimination and institutionalized though real estate, banking, and governmental practices. They preyed upon the racial prejudices and fears of white residents by selling or renting to African Americans - or even by spreading rumors of black settlement - to panic...
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Research Paper on Built Environment
The built environment consists of all elements of the human-made physical environment. Commonly treated as wholly discrete from and in juxtaposition against the ''natural environment, Dunlap and Catton s (1983) distinction between the ''built, the ''modified, and the ''natural environments critically captures the intermediate and continuous possibilities between and among these divisions. Use of the term commonly diverges across disciplines, applications, and intended scale. Within engineering the built environment typically references infrastructural elements, technology, and systems (e.g., roads, bridges, depots; activities, technologies, practices, and structures implicated in the generation, transmission, and delivery of energy, sewerage/sanitation, communication, information). The building trades and applied architects and designers more narrowly address site planning, design, and materials. Alternatively, planners, urban designers, developers, and social scientists frequently use the term...
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Research Paper on The Chicago School of Urban Sociology
The Chicago School of Urban Sociology refers to work of faculty and graduate students at the University of Chicago during the period 1915 to 1935. This small group of scholars (the full-time faculty in the department of sociology never numbered more than 6 persons) developed a new sociological theory and research methodology in a conscious effort to create a science of society using the city of Chicago as a social laboratory. The Chicago School is represented by three generations of faculty. The first included Albion Small (founder of the department), W. I. Thomas, Charles R. Henderson, Graham Taylor, and George E. Vincent. The second generation included Small, Thomas, Ernest Burgess, Ellsworth Faris, and Robert Park. It was this group that trained the graduate students responsible for the classic studies of the Chicago School. The third generation included Park, Burgess, Louis Wirth, and William Ogburn. This group of faculty would remain intact until the time Park retired from the university...
Free Essay on Urban Sociology Research Paper Topics» 
Research Paper on The City
Cities were a feature of all the great ancient civilizations. Relatively small by modern standards, they, nevertheless, facilitated a far more diverse range of activities than was possible in other forms of human settlement. The city and the urban way of life that accompanies it, however, inasmuch as they have interested sociologists, are of more recent origin and are closely linked to the rise of industrialism. In the nineteenth century, the city and urbanism began to exert a powerful fascination upon social theorists and sociologists. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels saw the rise of the city as an integral part of human development and they recognized, as did Max Weber, that differing cultural and historical conditions lead to different types of cities. In addition, however, they argued that the human condition that is experienced in cities is the product of economic structure. Engels went so far as to examine the human condition of the working class in nineteenth-century Manchester in what has come to be seen...
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