Write a 6-8-page essay analyzing a chosen diversity issue covered in the media.
In this assessment, you will have the opportunity to take a deeper look at the connection between the media and the cultural diversity of U.S. society. You will discuss how a current program or article in current news media approaches diversity-related issues and explain how we can use the sociological perspective to better understand both the portrayal of diversity-related issues and the media’s broader role in U.S. society. Effectively evaluating the accuracy of the information provided in your chosen media piece will require some additional research and fact checking, something that sociologists also do when they are weighing the validity of opposing arguments.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
- Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
- Discuss sociological theories appropriate for promoting understanding of a diversity concept.
- Discuss how a media piece may affect or might have been influenced by policy and/or power.
- Competency 2: Identify historical and contemporary influences of discrimination in U. S. culture.
- Discuss how minority and dominant groups are portrayed in a media piece to understand influences on discrimination.
- Competency 3: Analyze the effects of social policy using aggregated data.
- Analyze data that is appropriate for supporting or refuting the central tenets of a media piece.
- Competency 6: Communicate effectively.
- Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Choose a news media piece from a reputable source that is focused on an issue related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical or mental disability, or social class. Examples of acceptable media include newspaper articles, editorials, and radio or television news segments. Write an essay in which you complete the following:
- Briefly, in one or two paragraphs, summarize the main events or issues presented in the specific media piece you have chosen and describe how they relate to cultural diversity studies.
- Compare and contrast how minority and dominant groups are portrayed in your chosen media article or program.
- Consider how your source material demonstrates this dominant/minority group differentiation. For example, is there differentiation along racial or ethnic lines, or other variables, such as gender or social class?
- Discuss at least two sociological theories that are most appropriate to understanding the diversity issues in your chosen media piece. Include specific relevant examples from the article or program to illustrate your points. Examples of theories include:
- Functionalist perspective.
- Conflict perspective.
- Labeling theory.
- Marx’s and Weber’s theories of inequality.
- Park’s race relations cycle.
- Gordon’s theory of assimilation.
- Human capital theory.
- Scapegoat theory.
- Authoritarian personality theory.
- Exploitation theory.
- Contact hypothesis.
- Noel hypothesis.
- Blauner hypothesis.
- Culture of poverty theory.
- Do one of the following—choose which is appropriate for your chosen article:
- Discuss how one or more of Merton’s four categories of prejudice and discrimination apply to the media piece you chose.
- Explain whether assimilation or pluralism best describes how race and ethnic relations are presented in your media piece.
- Find and analyze two credible sources of data (statistics) that are appropriate for supporting or refuting the central tenets of your chosen media article or program.
- If data is cited in your media piece, you may go to that source and analyze it yourself; then consult an additional source that supports or refutes the data presented.
- Make sure to include citations for any sources used.
- Discuss how the content of the media piece may affect or might have been influenced by power. For example, consider how individuals in power influence decisions regarding how issues are portrayed.
- This can include corporate executives, lobbyists, special interest groups, or those who own a particular newspaper, channel, or media conglomerate.
- Suggest, in your concluding paragraph, a viable policy strategy—one that could be implemented at the local, state, or federal level—for addressing the particular diversity-related issue presented in your news article or program.
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