Sociology Assessment item 3 Take Home Test
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Sociology Assessment item 3 Take Home Test


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The test requires short essay (850 word) answers  following . The questions to any 2 of the 4 options are designed to allow you to demonstrate the breadth of your sociological knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge in a clear, concise and grammatical fashion.

Option 1

What is the sociological imagination?  How has it been used to understand ONE of the following: crime and deviance; sex, gender and sexualities; the networked society; or tourism.

Option 2

Is Australia an egalitarian society?  Your answer should analyse Marx OR Weber OR Bourdieu’s description of the order of society.  Use this to explore either leisure and sport, work or media and popular culture.

Option 3

What is “power” for a sociologist? How would a sociologist use power to understand the issues of one of the following:ethnicity and immigration, Aboriginality and Australia’s Indigenous people’s, religion, family?

HINT: It may be easier to address this question if you use a media article to help focus your discussion. You will be giving consideration to the notion of state power and the potential for the abuse of that power and what that abuse may mean for individual’s and society as a whole (this may include the role of the police/law enforcement officers as agent’s of the state); the fact that the right to make laws is solely held by the state and what that may mean with regard to the people elected to represent us and their values; the state’s role to provide protection to its citizenry whilst upholding individual freedom in a liberal democratic society. Freedom includes the right to practice religion without persecution and how different religions and different cultural practices are able to be supported by the state using other structures of state power including education and media.

Option 4 

Option 4 is to be written as a newspaper opinion piece or editorial on a sociological topic of your choice.  If you are unsure of what this requires you can find examples from the opinion or commentary pages of a newspaper such as ‘OnLine Opinion’ or ‘the Conversation’, or the ABC’s ‘Analysis and Opinion’ section.


Prompt 1

What is the sociological imagination?  How has it been used to understand ONE of the following: crime and deviance; sex, gender and sexualities; the networked society; or tourism.

The sociological imagination is a complex perspective which defines the ability of a person to shift their perspective as per the society. Not only is this phenomenon a way to understand the society and its experiences, rather, it is also a means through which the 'mentality of the society' in a social setting can be anticipated (Scott and Nilsen, 2013). Since society has been known to impact the perspectives of a being, it is reflected that its impact on the value, societal and power relations can be comprehended through understanding the sociological imagination principles. Whether it is the concept of race, prejudice, or even status war, the intricacies of the societal norms can be understood through comprehending this phenomenon.

Each society or a community has a varying degree of sociological imagination based on their own value system. Though the recognition of a specific plane of imagination, a society can thrive better both culturally and financially, as there is no chaos in it. As per Lemert (2012), the power of sociological imagination not only defines the social structures but also creates social differences. As per Lemert (2012), sociological imagination creates a social structure, and the social norms, which are vital for the stability of a society. However, through these measures, the comfort zone and sociological stifling in the society is also created, and in some way, it can restrict growth.


This can be further comprehended through addressing the crimes in many societies, where a certain segment of the community, such as a certain race or a low socio-economic background people are expected to be weak, and more prone to be involved in the crime rates of the region. As much as these people try and ridicule these stereotypes, often the constant association with the crime becomes the reason for constant social imagination. In this regard Scott and Nilsen (2013) reflect upon the irony in the people situations that are feeding their own sociological imagination. Our society makes it really hard to travel the path which is unique, and often put obstacles on the way. This can be further comprehended in the case of the challenges faced by the people in certain segments of the society, as they continue to get over their stereotype of say recidivism and poverty to achieve social standing. 

It is prudent to presume that one can escape this reality of the society, as social ecology is a part of the human identity, and even if someone stands out, they still need to establish themselves in some society. Which merely means that an individual shifts from one social imagination to another, as opposed to escaping it (Lemart, 2012). Through the means of sociological imagination, the relations between two societies can be traced. For example, the sociological imagination between the white and the African American population can be traced back to the severed roots in history, where the latter group began their journey through fighting the odds and escaping their reality as slaves, to today, where they are still socially branded.

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