For his project, you will empirically observe and analyze symbolic interaction, social psychology and historic
connections in two (2) dissimilar urban neighborhoods or districts. The paper will be formatted as an illustrated
magazine article that integrates key terms and sociological thinkers covered during the course, as well as historical
What you should be working on each week:
• Make worthwhile visits to your field sites (you can get by going only once, but the more you visit your sites
the more data you will be able to collect (and thus more material to work with).
• Jot down observation notes in your notebook
• Take photos and collect other graphic representations that will be good for your paper
• During this time you could also be visiting a library and finding a good book or two related to the history of
the area you are studying. I bet there are so many fascinating stories related to the places or people you are
researching that you can learn about and share! You can use the Internet as well, but you must use valid
sites (no Wikipedia or amateur/opinionated blogs)
• Creating an outline is highly recommended as it really does give structure and guidance while you put
everything together and create a coherent product.
CONTENT / ORGANIZATION:
Keep in mind the paper will be structured around addressing the 3 provided guiding questions that ask you to
focus on symbolic interaction, social psychology, and how relevant historical events or ideas relate to current
observations. Be sure to clearly list each question in bold print before thoroughly addressing it.
• How do symbols affect social behavior and interaction?
• How do factors such as culture, lifestyle, age, education, occupation, mode of travel, or location affect how
people imagine the city differently?
• How do events from the past connect to current phenomena in these neighborhoods?
You DO NOT have to interview people for this project (though you can if you like, of course); most writing on WHY
people do what they do will be based on educated assumptions regarding their backgrounds (symbols will help
determine this) and their unique mentally constructed perspectives.
Similar to the Midterm, your selected key terms from the word bank (posted below) must be in bold print and
explained clearly (using unique definitions that demonstrate clear understanding) to an imagined reader who has
no understanding of sociological terms. These terms need to be relevant to your observations and should be
integrated throughout the paper and not bunched up in the first paragraph or so. Definitions should be either in
footnotes, text boxes or endnotes.
In addition to eight (8) key terms, you will incorporate the work of at
least two (2) sociologists/thinkers (Jane Jacobs, William Whyte, Lynn Lofland, Ali Madanipour, Erving Goffman,
Kevin Lynch, James Howard Kunstler, Kelling/Wilson, Charles Cooley, Blumer/Mead, Emile Durkheim) and clearly
relate their ideas to your observations.
Pull material from your class notes and assigned readings, or find more on the person through research. The names
of these sociologists must also be in bold print.
Your paper needs to include at least 3 (if not more) sources for your historical research. This material could be
about the history of the groups you are observing, or the neighborhood, or anything else relevant to your
Be sure to provide IN-TEXT CITATIONS in the body of your work (MLA-style parenthetical citation) where you use
researched data (this should match with a proper “Works Cited” page at the end of your paper).
• Do not use lengthy quotes from your sources; it is better to paraphrase (citations are still necessary).
• One of the major objectives for this paper is to provide a historical background to the neighborhoods and
people you are observing (or any other relevant theory or occurrence from the past). And very importantly,
you need to mention how this historical data is related to what you see going on today (how does the past
connect to the present?).
Your paper should be formatted as a coherent, engaging magazine article that is illustrated with photos you have
taken at your field sites (you can also mix in historic photos taken from the internet). If you like to draw, you may
include sketches as well. Writing and grammar expectations should match those of an upper division college
student. Blend academic formality with a personal, readable style. There is no required length, necessarily, but
something like 4-5 single spaced pages before adding photos or other graphics is recommended minimum base.
KEY TERMS / SOCIOLOGICAL THINKERS:
Choose and employ 8 (plus at least 2 sociological thinkers covered in class). You can use more if you like, but at
least 8 must come from this list. Again, they must be used logically and explained in detail.
Structural Inequality Social determinism
Social contract Culture of Poverty
Social consensus Labeling
Dramaturgical perspective Shadow economy
Looking glass self Social stratification
Ethnic enclave Social Darwinism
Use significance Broken Glass Theory
Sympathetic Introspection Social Control
Social norms Mental Construct
Socially transmitted Situational determinism
Social Institution Mixed-use space
Socially constructed Agency Exclusion
Don’t forget that you need to incorporate at least 2 Sociological Thinkers (explain how their ideas fit into your
observations or research):
Jane Jacobs James Howard Kunstler
William Whyte Kelling/Wilson
Lynn Lofland Charles Cooley
Ali Madanipour Blumer/Mead
Erving Goffman, Emile Durkheim