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Comprehensive Essay

You should answer one question from Group A and one question from Group B.

You are free to use any outside sources you wish for this exam; however, you must properly cite your sources according to American Sociological Association (ASA) style guidelines. You should also provide a reference section that includes all works cited in this portion of your exam. This reference section should adhere to ASA style guidelines.

Each question is worth up to 200 points. Of these 200 points, up to 170 points will be awarded for substance. To get the full 170 points, your answer must draw upon at least three outside scholarly sources (i.e., peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly books, not counting your textbook, Wikipedia, etc.). Up to 30 points will be based upon adherence to ASA style for your in-text citations and reference list. (These points will be awarded as follows: no ASA style errors = 30 points; the minimal number of minor ASA errors = 24 points; multiple numbers of minor ASA errors or major stylistic errors = 18 points. For examples of ASA style guidelines see https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/formatting_in_sociology_asa_style/index.html (Links to an external site.))

The maximum word length for each question is 1,200 words (excluding references). You are certainly free to write fewer than 1,200 words — but make sure your answer is long enough to substantively address the question.

Question Group A: (answer one of the following)

1) Khaldun, Marx, Durkheim and Giddens each had ideas about the underlying mechanism or forces that drive change in societies. Choose three of these theorists and explain their ideas about what causes social change.

2) Explain Emile Durkheims concept of anomie and Karl Marxs concept of alienation. Be sure to include the root cause of each concept in your explanation, and be sure to explain how the two concepts differ. Then provide a modern-day example of either anomie or alienation. (Be sure to identify which concept your modern-day example illustrates.)

3) Methodology was inherently linked to theory in the work of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Explain and contrast their methodological approaches to the study of social phenomena.

Question Group B: (answer one of the following)

4) Discuss the work of W.E.B. DuBois and put it in historical context. Explain at least two of his key concepts. Are these ideas still relevant today? If so, why? And if not, why not?

5) What does David Gauntlett mean by making is connecting? How does Web 2.0 fit into that? And what theorists does he draw upon to formulate his ideas?

6)  Of the theorists we studied this semester, who was your favorite and why? Explain his or her main concepts. What historical, social or technological forces or events might have shaped these ideas and how? Do any of these ideas provide insight into your field or area of interest? If so, which ones and what do they help explain?

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