The Sociology of Everyday Life
Much of what we discuss in this seminar revolves around different approaches in
identifying, conceptualizing, measuring, and analyzing the routine and ordinary aspects of
everyday life. Learning about these approaches illustrates how everyday life can be
theorized in different ways, shaping how we understand the role and importance of
quotidian phenomenon in social life. Taking a specific theoretical approach informs our
marking the unmarked.
Therefore, identifying how our theoretical approach
impacts our choice of topic is important in understanding the advantages and limitations of
our theories to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of our approach.
Utilizing what we have learned thus far about academic approaches to everyday life,
identify an everyday phenomenon and apply one (1) approach in theorizing about an
unmarked topic. The purpose of this paper is to get you thinking about how different ways
of identifying your chosen topic can change what is important about it, and how the
theoretical approach taken can change the purpose of marking and analyzing it. It also acts
as an exercise in understanding theoretical approaches with more depth and with greater
precision regarding the terms, details, and analytical focus necessary to properly
understand things from a specific perspective.
Choose one (1) perspective/approach covered in class and apply it to the analysis of
your topic. In providing an insightful and critical understanding of the topic, your
task is to use the approach to outline how we can come to better understand this
mundane aspect of everyday life: what does the theory allow you to understand, and
what are its limitations in understanding your topic? Use the readings outlined for
your approach, and feel free to include relevant readings and concepts from other
approaches if they are valuable in your discussion.
No outside research is
required for this assignment.
Begin your paper by introducing us to the topic: provide a brief explanation that
outlines the important aspects of your topic relevant to your chosen theoretical
approach. The details you focus on should identify a routine, mundane, or ordinary
aspect of everyday life that is not a common or typically marked sociological topic.
At the end of your paper, provide a conclusion on how your theoretical approach is
beneficial in understanding your topic. Each theoretical approach will have its
advantages, but this is your opportunity to explain how this approach allows you to
identify, analyze, and explain this specific aspect of everyday life.
This where you
demonstrate your insight on the topic based on the knowledge you gained through
the chosen theoretical approach. Your conclusions in this paper can be an indication
of what your focus can be moving forward on this topic, and therefore what
question might drive your final paper.
Though keep in mind that you should be
open to using other approaches we cover in class when you eventually plan
your final paper, as we will continue to review different theoretical
approaches that may be valuable in analyzing your topic