Contemporary Society Exam
The word limit for each question is 400 words (plus or minus 10%). The total word limit for the assignment is 1,600 words. You must only use the unit’s textbook (Sociologic edited by James Arvanitakis) and/or material taken directly from this unit’s weekly lectures, including direct quotations, which must be correctly referenced using a recognized referencing system authorized by WSU. You must use and explain a minimum of two key terms taken from that week’s reading for each question response. Do not use any Internet sources, except direct quotations from the TED Talks specifically mentioned for each question, if needed, to support your argument and when correctly referenced. Do not use any other scholarly texts or other texts of any kind and do not simply summarise each talk. Marks may be deducted if you do. Think of this as an electronic version of a tutorial-based open-book exam with four TED Talks examples. You are required to submit your finished online at-home exam to the correct Turnitin link on vUWS in Week 4 by 11.59PM Friday, March 29. Submit all four answers as one text through Turnitin using a reliable Internet connection. Late penalties apply unless an extension has been granted, but late submissions will be accepted. Note that there is no late-submission Turnitin link. An extension must be requested via a completed Request for Extension form (available in Student Forms) and submitted before, on, or up to two days after (by 5pm) the due date of the assessment, unless there are valid extenuating circumstances. For further details refer to the 100960 Unit Learning Guide.
If available, subtitles and transcripts in a number of languages are on the TED Talks website at www.ted.com or by following the hyperlinks supplied below. If you are having trouble using the hyperlinks from this text, try copying and pasting the hyperlink directly into your browser.
Using the lecture, weekly reading and key terms in the textbook from Week 3, discuss the following quotation from the textbook in relation to the TED Talk Greta Thunberg: The disarming case to act right now on climate change.
“But what is power? According to Dahl, the simplest way to understand the concept is to think of power as enabling the possibility of imposing one’s will upon the behaviour of another (or others).” (P. 141)
Key Terms: Covert power, Disciplinary power, Lukes’ Third Dimension of Power, Overt Power, and Relational Power.
Using the lectures, weekly readings and key terms in the textbook from Week 4, discuss the following quotation from the textbook in relation to the TED Talk Nick Hanauer: Beware fellow plutocrats the pitchforks are coming.
“Others, such as feminist author bell hooks, have noted that the concept simply fell out of fashion. ‘Nowadays it is fashionable to talk about race or gender’, she says. ‘[T]he uncool subject is class. It’s the subject that makes us all tense, nervous, uncertain about where we stand’ (hooks 2000: vii).” (P. 100)
Key Terms: Alienation, Class, Cultural Capital, Economic Capital, Exploitation, Habitus, Life Chances, Social Capital, Social Stratification, Socio-economic Status, Status, Surplus Value and Symbolic Capital.
Using the lecture, weekly reading and key terms in the textbook from Week 2, discuss the following quotation from the textbook in relation to the TED Talk Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame.
“These rules are invisible, are all around us, and in many ways are essential to the smooth running of our society. Some are about manners and behaviour; others are about learning what is considered ‘normal’ and ‘natural’; and there are even some about our desires and hopes. Some are explained to us, while we learn others by observing and no one really tells us why we do them. The law enforces some, while others are enforced just as heavily by the weight of the opinion of those around us.” (P. 5)
Key Terms: Cultural studies, Culture, Epistemology, Ontology, Socialisation, Society, and Sociology.
Using the lecture, weekly reading and key terms in the textbook from Week 2, discuss the following quotation from the textbook in relation to the TED Talk Maria Bezaitis: The surprising need for strangeness.
“In exploring the interrelation between the individual and society, we can start to see the connection between our own personal worlds and public issues (Mills 1959).” (P. 23)
Key Terms: Academic literacy, Cultural capital,
knowledge, Lay knowledge, Sociological imagination,
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