There are many challenges facing the Baltimore area and not necessarily a lot of easy solutions. One of the strengths of the sociological perspective is that it can provide a new or “fresh” perspective on a problem. For this assignment, you will choose a social problem that affects the Baltimore area and will explain how a sociological perspective could be used to think about the problem in a new way.
Please note that you are not expected to provide a solution to the problem. The goal is to explain how a sociologist would develop a research project in order to further study the issue. For instance, if your chosen social problem was jaywalking (people crossing the street illegally), you would write about how sociological concepts such as deviance, or theories such as strain theory or structural disorganization, could be applied by a sociologist in a research project.
Instructions for the Research Proposal
Write a 3-4 page (single spaced length) proposal for a sociological research project focused on the topic you have selected. Your paper should contain all of the information described below. The bibliography is included in the required length. You may format your paper as one continuous essay, or you can divide the paper into the sections listed below.
1. Description of the Topic
In the first part of your paper, describe the topic you have selected and explain why the issue is important for society. Use information from at least 2 of the research resources in your annotated bibliography in this section of the paper.
1. gun-violence in Baltimore city
2. drug addiction
3. crime rates being too high
4. Children with no real mentors
Use in-text citations in your paper in places where you have used information from your research resources. An in-text citation identifies the sources of the information you are using inside parentheses in the paper. For instance, “According to Dr. Brown, sociology is the most popular class at CCBC (Brown).” There is a help file posted with this assignment with more information about formatting in-text citations.
2. Apply Three Sociological Concepts to the Issue (most important section for your grade)
Choose 3 of the sociological concepts or theories you have learned about this semester and describe how those 3 concepts can be used to better understand the issue you have selected. We covered several sociological concepts and/or theories each week in the class and you can choose any of them. This a very important section of your paper so be sure you have explained in detail, using quotations or specific references from the textbook or assigned videos, how each sociological concept could be used by a sociologist to understand the problem. Do not use a sociological concept that has not appeared in the textbook or other assigned course materials.
Write a conclusion that summarizes your own opinion about why a sociologist in particular (as opposed to some other kind of researcher) could make an important contribution to understanding the problem. Think about the unique sociological perspective (the sociological imagination) in writing this portion of the paper. How could sociology give us a fresh perspective on the problem that we might not have considered before?
4. Include a Bibliography in MLA Format
Submit a shorter version of your bibliography that includes only the research materials you used in writing your paper. Remove all the annotations (summaries) so that only the bibliographic information is left. Your bibliography should have a minimum of 2 items listed (because a minimum of 2 research sources are required in the first section of your paper). However, if you use more research sources in your paper, you should include them in the bibliography.