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Chapter 1: SOCIOLOGY: A Unique Way to View the World:
Learning From Journal Articles

Lessons from Sports: Children's Socialization to Values through Family Interaction During Sports Activities
Tamar Kremer-Sadlik and Jeemin Linda Kim
Discourse and Society (

  1. This article examines the research question objectively. If you wanted to study this question using applied sociology, how would you reform the research question in a way that you could do this?
  2. Did this article challenge any of your common sense beliefs? If so, which ones? If so, how did you learn these things that you already assumed?
  3. What role does sport participation play in the socialization process? What greater values does it teach? How does it connect us to the larger society?
  4. The authors of this article show how values can be transmitted though a variety of sports forms. What ways do environment shape social experiences? If you were going to do a follow-up study on this topic, which environments would you think where most important. Explain.

Provocative Looks: Gang Appearance and Dress Codes in an Inner-City Alternative School
Robert Garot and Jack Katz
Ethnography (

  1. What level of analysis do Garot and Katz employ when studying dress and dress codes? Explain.
  2. Garot and Katz argue that dressing oneself is incredibly social. What examples do they use to support this argument? How does this differ from our common sense conventions about why we dress the way that we do?
  3. How do the teens Garot interviews use common sense (or folk sociology) to explain the way they dress? How does this vary from Garot and Katz's explanation? Does this suggest, in your opinion, that there is any value in folk sociology? Why or why not?
  4. Garot and Katz detail that the teens they study do not always have control over how they dress and often the teens have even less control over how their dress is perceived. How much control, then, does this suggest we have over our actions? How much control does society have over our actions? We tend to see dressing ourselves as a rather mundane activity, so does the balance of control vary for more important social activities? Explain.

Institutional Analysis and the Paradox of Corporate Social Responsibility
John L. Campbell
American Behavioral Scientist

  1. One contribution that sociology has made to social science is examining non-individuals as social actors. How does Campbell show that the corporation is a social actor?
  2. In your opinion, does viewing the corporation as a social actor impact the level of analysis of the study? Why or why not?
  3. In your text, the authors outline the underlying assumptions of sociology. How do these assumptions apply to this article? In your opinion, do we need to transform these assumptions to apply to this article? If so, how? If not, is there any situation you can think of where we might have to change the assumptions?
  4. Imagine that you find yourself working for a business, and, because you are an emerging applied sociologist, your boss asks you to brief her on how to make your company more socially responsible. What would you tell her? Make sure to explain to your boss which things are individually up to the corporation and which things are social and are, at least somewhat, out of the company's control.

Where Are the Leaders? Music, Culture, and Contemporary Feminism
Jo Reger
American Behavioral Scientist

  1. Reger details how the feminist movement can be very popular at the meso-level, yet is less popular at the macro-level. What disconnect do you see between the movement at these levels?
  2. In your opinion, at which level of analysis should a social movement focus their efforts? Explain.
  3. How could an applied sociologist who is interested in growing the feminist movement use Reger's findings?

A Qualitative Study of Early Family Histories and transitions of Homeless Youth
Kimberly A. Tyler
Journal of Interpersonal Violence

  1. Using your sociological imagination, what larger social factors might have led to these youth currently being homeless? Until you learned about the sociological imagination, to what would you have attributed their homelessness?
  2. Which institutions have the youth studied in this article been involved with? How do you think those institutions might be related to one another?
  3. If you were to go back and re-interview these same adolescents, what questions would you want to ask about their process of socialization? What would you need to know to better analyze their place in the social environment?
  4. Using figure 1.2 in your book, make a model of the social world these youths live in. How does it differ from your own social world model?

Is Gay Parenting Bad for Kids? Responding to the ‘Very Idea Difference' in Research on Lesbian and Gay Parents
Stephen Hicks
Sexualities (

  1. Before reading the article, what does your common sense tell you will be the answer to, "Is gay parenting bad for kids?" What did the Hicks find? How are the findings similar to or different from your common sense ideas? Does this surprise you or not?
  2. In light of what you read, which belief do you personally ascribe most to- that of the U.S. Christian Opposition or of the sociologists Stacy and Biblarz? What do you think is it about your own position in the social structure and as a member of various social units that leads to your opinion on gay parenting?
  3. Some might argue that it's possible to take a "middle ground" opinion between the U.S. Christian Opposition and Stacy and Biblarz's findings. What might this "middle ground" position be? How is it possible to integrate both sets of findings?

Elderly Home Health Clients Who Abuse Alcohol
Marshelle Thobaben
Home Health Care Management Practice (

  1. Are you shocked to find out that elderly individuals can be alcoholics, too? What cultural stereotypes does finding this support? Which does it break?
  2. This article examines alcoholism among elderly home health care clients from both a psychological and a sociological perspective. Which findings are sociological? Which findings are more psychological? Why?
  3. If you were to examine this same issue from anthropological, political science, and economic perspectives, what aspects of alcoholism among the elderly would you be most interested in exploring?
  4. Looking for some more interesting research to review? You'll find it in SAGE Journals! Search for more journals and related articles at the Sage Journals Online site,