Sociological Perspectives Assessment

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate your understanding of the three sociological perspectives: functionalism, conflict and symbolic-interactionism by applying it to the case of Korean Airline crashes as described in chapter 7 of Outliers by Malcom Galdwell


  1. Outline and grading rubric HERE
  2. Powerpoint of the three perspectives

Sociological Perspectives

Week 2:

From the big picture of form, function and conflict to the conversation and relationship level, a sociologist is there with a theory.  This week we will practice being sociologists from the big three perspectives.




Before Oct 13

  • Read Outliers, Chp 2 “The 10,000 Hour Rule” Below are the computer science entrepreneurs from the chapter.  Pics courtesy of wikipedia.
  • outliers-chp-2
  • Take notes on chapter 2.
    • Signs that something may be notable:
    • Extreme or absolute language
    • Contradictions
    • Numbers, data, statistics
    • Quotes
    • New words or phrases (like accumulative advantage from Chp 1)
  • Two paragraph response.  Print and bring to class:
    • First paragraph: Summary of the chapter.  Use the template from last week. You can substitute in a different quote intro or quote explaining phrases from the boxes below the template.
    • Second paragraph: Answer, what else – other than timing – might be a factor in those computer entrepreneurs success and why.  Hint: Consider the picture above. You do NOT need a quote or additional research for this paragraph.


For Your Procrastination


Sociology Week 1

In microeconomics, we considered how individuals make decisions after weighing their costs and benefits of an action.  In psychology, individuals are actions are explained by their own pasts, emotions and desires.  For sociologists, individuals are best understood as part of society and its various subgroups.  One’s race, gender, class, religion, education, ethnicity, family, and peer groups, to name a few, all overlap to either encourage or discourage a person’s behavior.


We will start our exploration of how events outside of the individual contribute to their success with readings from Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell.

This class will involve quite a bit of reading and writing.  We will spend some time the first day talking about how to read non-fiction, take notes on it and write a response paper.  So for the first week, just a little reading and a little writing.  See you October 6 at 9:30!



By October 6:

___ Read the Introduction: The Roseto Mystery and Chapter 1: The Matthew Effect in Outliers.

___ Write a paragraph response to the following question.

Gladwell says we can view success in two ways as, “… a simple function of individual merit” (p 33) or as the result of “accumulative advantage” (p 30).

 Which option does he choose?

How do you know – what evidence does he present to convince the reader his option is the best one?

Be sure to include at least one quote from Chapter 1 to support your answer.

___ Print out and bring your paragraph to class

___ Any questions or concerns – either send me an email or put in a comment.

Procrastination Links:

On The Daily Show: