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For this paper, you will need to not only demonstrate your understanding of the sociological imagination, but you must also analyze the American family from the perspective of the book, Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships by Sharon and Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller. More specifically, in a 4-5 page paper, using the book as your guide, you are to critically analyze growing trends in the American family structure, and assess how these trends affect, and are affected by, gender and class structures. First, in your own words, summarize the core tenants of the book. You have to approach your summary as if the reader has never heard of this study. What was the methodology? What did it argue? What were the primary findings? Next, select 1-2 themes from the book and contrast them with some of the topics/themes/concepts that we have covered in class. What does this particular comparison say about inequality and the family in the United States, today? This section should comprise the bulk of your paper. Finally, I want to hear your voice. In your opinion, what are your thoughts about the book? What do you think of its arguments? Was the evidence convincing? Why? 

Your paper should demonstrate writing proficiency at the college and university level, and you must include 2-3 themes from our class lectures. Please check for any typos and/or grammatical errors. 

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Papers should be double-spaced with 12-pt Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins. 

Assignment Objectives:

·  Demonstrate your ability to understand, summarize, and analyze sociological studies. 

·  Demonstrate reading comprehension and writing proficiency at the university level.

·  Demonstrate an understanding of, and be able to apply, the sociological imagination.

·  Demonstrate your ability to extract and think critically about sociological concepts in the real world. 

Assignment Grading Rubric

I.  Introduction

a.  Your introduction should introduce your reader to the topic of your paper. In your introduction, you should include a definition of cohabitation, and you should at least mention the book you will be analyzing. Also, you must include a thesis statement which clearly articulates the main points of your critical analysis.

b.  HINT: Many people find it easier to write the introduction last – after they have written the rest of the paper.

II.  Critical Analysis

a.  You should summarize and discuss the book here. Talk about some of its core principles/themes. 

 i.  If you were summarizing the book to someone who has never heard of it, what would you say? These are your themes.

b.  You have to do more than simply summarize the book; you have to use it to analyze the family. How does this study make sense of, describe, and speak to the family in the contemporary United States? How does it relate to the class material?  

III.  Conclusion

a.  Your conclusion should re-state the main points of your paper, and include your final thoughts about the topic(s) discussed. Offer and elaborate on your own opinion. Again, I want to hear your voice. Also, please keep in mind that your conclusion is the last thing your reader will read. Be sure to make it as grammatically sound, sociologically compelling, and thematically detailed as possible. You want this to be one of the strongest parts of your paper. 

IV.  Works Cited

a.  You need to include references for any thoughts/ideas that are not your own. This includes citations from the course readings, any outside readings, and even the class lectures, themselves. It includes both internal citations and a Works Cited page.

 i.  Any time you use a direct quotation, you need to include an internal citation with the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number. It looks like this: “This is a direct quotation” (Bell, 2020: 35).

 ii.  Any time you paraphrase, you need to include an internal citation with the author’s name and year of publication. A citation for a paraphrase would look like this (Bell, 2020). If you are citing a lecture, you may do so as (Bell, 2021). Works cited page should adhere to APA format.

 iii.  The Purdue OWL is a great resource for citations. It includes information for internal citations and your works cited page, and has multiple examples you can look at. You can access it here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

b.  Failure to properly cite can result in a failing grade on this assignment. PLEASE feel free to contact me before the paper is due if you have any questions about citations. Do not wait until the last minute to begin writing this paper.

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