Sample #5

Social Science

This is an example of a Social Science essay assignment. Only one essay is required, but there is a choice between two questions. Note the professor's request for the essay to reflect several different resources: class discussions, opinions, readings etc. Also note the emphasis on showing real understanding of the concepts involved through detailed definition and correct usage of terms.

Rebels and Outcasts: Social Deviance
Essay Assignment

Answer one of the following questions with a complete and coherent essay that integrates class discussions, readings, and your own well argued views. Be sure to define key terms and concepts that you employ and provide concrete examples.

1. Much of the ability to assign deviance to a person, group or nation rests on the ability to manage tension and control information with reference to the signs employed to project identity. Discuss the general principles and paradoxes of this process and apply this analysis to an interpersonal, institutional and global setting.

2. While contemporary capitalist society creates an environment of constant surveillance over identity, this control is not accepted passively. Discuss the underlying logic of control with reference to culture, politics, and economy in this society and give examples that illustrate how resistance develops in response to the systems of control.

Both essays questions consist of a statement followed by a request that you then discuss and explore the statement in various ways that are listed for you. The essay requires prior knowledge of the subject matter , and it also requires you to apply the ideas to show this knowledge, but also in order for you to form an opinion. Note that both questions ask you to consider the ideas from more than one angle - this means the essay will consist of many parts and must show a broad grasp of the concepts as well as detailed, precise execution of them. A strong structure and direction will be necessary for both of these essays - otherwise there is a danger of the essay dissolving into a mess of related but disjointed ideas. What would you want to say overall? Let that be your thesis, then go from there.