SummaryDescription: Write a 1500-1750 word (not includingbibliography/references) sociological autobiography in which you appropriatelyuse a minimum of six sociological (maximum eight) concepts to demonstrate thatyou understand the role of societal factors that have influenced specifiedaspects of your life.  Your essay will focus on your personal experiencesof either one of the following:

A)    You can focus on one importantsingle issue that you believe has played an important role in your life (e.g.your community, your interest is a particular sport or genre of music, yourparents economic class position, your cultural capital) and use sociologicalconcepts to analyze why that issue has been important in your life.


B)      You can keep track of yourtypical consumption activities in a given week and use sociological concepts toanalyze how your consumption activities say something about who you are. 


Specific Criteria:

1.The essayrequires you to demonstrate your comprehension of required readings (these aremainly textbook chapters), a selection of supplemental course readings, and aselection of sociological concepts. Specifically:

       Direct engagement withand reference to a minimum of five (and maximum of eight) textbook chapters.

       Direct engagement withand reference to a minimum of two (and maximum of four) additional sources fromyour supplementary readings and videos list.

       Direct engagement witha minimum of six (maximum eight) sociologicalconcepts from your textbook.  You mustexplain the concepts and then use them accurately to demonstrate that youunderstand them. The list of approved concepts is provided below. PleaseBOLD concepts at first use.

. Give careful attention to essay composition and writing skills


      Remember to tell the reader what you are going to do, and then doit. Your essay must include an Introduction (introducethe purpose of the essay and how it aligns with the approach of this course), athesis statement ( Hover your cursor over boldedtext to see definitions of concepts), a body (where your essay content is logically organized and linked tothe course approach and key concepts) and conclusion(where you briefly summarize your key points).

      Your thesis statement must be approved by your TA.  Your thesis statement must be submitted by19 January or you will lose one mark.  Youressay will not be accepted without a TA approved thesis statement.  A thesis statement upload link will beprovided soon.

      Be accurate in conveying source material and include fullreference to any sources that you use.  Sourcescited in your endnotes or bibliography must be used explicitly in your essay(do not pad), and the significance of the source must be clear.

      Make a commitment to writing clearly and well, and to submittingedited, grammar-checked and spell-checked work. We do not want to evaluate work that has not been proof-read andpolished. We will automatically deduct 5% of the value of the assignment forwork that has not been spell-checked, and 5% of the value of the assignment forwork that has not been grammar-checked. If you have concerns about yourabilities in any of these areas, please contact York Universitys LearningSkills Services for assistance.

      Your essay should be approximately 6-7 pages in length (12pt.font, double spaced), or approximately 1750 words. Be succinct and effective inyour content delivery.  Use a constant1.5″ margin on each page. Always include page numbers for citations orquotes from the assigned reading. Properly number the pages (page 1 is thefirst text page).

      Every time you refer to textbook or other source material, you mustinclude a citation! We are very concerned about thorough and proper citation ofyour source material (see the discussion of academic honesty).  References should not be an after-thought.  They are not optional.  References (how you acknowledge the scholarlywork of others) are a crucial aspect of scholarly writing.  We need to know where ideas come from.

      Reference style in also really important! How you cite asource impacts the ability of others to research that source.  As well, inconsistent or incomplete referencestyle looks sloppy and gives the reader a negative impression of your skillsand commitment to scholarly writing.  Youmay use any conventional academic referencing format, such as APA, MLA, andChicago Style, etc. You will find instructions for a number of styles on Spark.If you have not already done so, it may be helpful to choose a reference style,learn it well, and employ it consistently in your academic writing.

      When the textbook authors are citing the work of someone else, youmust include the name of the original source of information.

      Provide a proper in-text citationthe first time that you reference a specific textbook chapter or otherapproved source. Here are some examples of how you can cite your textbook:  (Johnston et al., 2017, chapter 2, 40). OrIn chapter two. (Johnston et al., 2017, 40).

i)                   For subsequent paraphrasedreferences to that chapter you may include reference to the chapter only (e.g.Chapter 1).

ii)                  However, subsequent directquotations must include proper in-text citations including the authorsname, publication year, and page number.

iii)                If you are using a paper copy of the textbook,please include page numbers (here represented by 40) with every reference tothe textbook.  We realize that this maynot be possible with the e-version of the textbook.  In these instances please include an asterisk* in place of the page number.

    Essays are designed tobe very specific to this course.  Essaysthat are not on an approved topic and that do not utilize the course analyticframework materials will    receive agrade of 0. 

   You can use the essayevaluation rubric (coming soon!) as a checklist to ensure that you havecompleted all of the essay criteria.

    I have extended thedeadline for this essay.  Earliersubmission of essays is welcome.  Latesubmission is not ok.  You will find thelate assignment policy in the course syllabus.


Concept List: (You may only select concepts from this list.)



       Working class

       Middle class

       Material conditions

       Cultural capital


       Wage labour

       Global commodity chain

       Global south



       Social construction




       Nuclear family

       Care work



       Biological determinism

       Cultural relativism


       Consumer capitalism



       Upscale emulation



       Symbolic interaction


       Social structure




       Alienation (Marxsanalysis only)

       Environmental crisis



       Class (Mark Thomas)





Option A:  Some questions that may help you think abouthow to focus your essay:

       Is theresomething that is enmeshed closely with your sense of self and your identity?Explain your relationship to it in sociological terms, and how this relation issocially organized (the social origins not psychological, biological,religious, etc.).  Is it a style or abrand?  Does it involve music, sports,literature, social media, etc.? Explore how this came to be the case.

       Have you hadcertain advantages or disadvantages in your life because of your familyscultural capital?  How has this shaped youreveryday and life choices and outcomes? Explore how this came to be the case.

       Discuss otheroptions with your TA.


Option B: Somequestions that may help you think about how to focus your essay:

       What are thereasons why you go shopping? (Necessities and practical items, entertainment, social time withfriends, nice things in advertisements, Instagram, etc., that beckon you,latest tech releases, and so on).

       How much ofyour shopping activity is actually for necessities?




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