After selecting these cultural products, write a three pages addressing two related questions.
1. What does your evidence say about beliefs and/or attitudes towards family diversity in the two time periods? Have they changed? How completely or incompletely?
2. How well or poorly does your evidence reflect the facts about family diversity that you have learned in the course? Can your evidence be taken as an accurate depiction of the phenomena it portrays? Making reference to course material, explain why or why not.
You could start with a summary of your cultural evidence (e.g., images, song lyrics, videos, etc.). The summary should be brief and to the point. It should be the boiled-down essence of the evidence. The summary should be the first paragraph. It is easy to write, but you would need to efficiently and succinctly convey the main ideas of the cultural evidence.
The next section should be to go deeper.
• Never assume that your reader has the same understanding of a concept as you do. It is always important to define the concepts that you are using. If you are using a term such as companionate marriage, explain what companionate marriage is and cite it.
• Summarize and explain ideas and concepts from the readings that you will be applying to the cultural evidence.
• Address the application of that concept or idea that you have defined and how it is visible within the cultural evidence you have summarized. Create the links between the course readings and the cultural evidence you are analyzing using at least 3 references to the course readings. Be careful in your essay to specify the sociological concepts you are using and to use them properly.
• You should keep quotations to a bare minimum: No more than 10% of your essay should consist of quoted material. Always try to paraphrase with a proper in-text citation.
• Useful Questions to Consider:
o Who made this image/clip/movie/song/ etc.?
o Why did they make this?
o Who is the audience for the cultural products you chose?
o Where do they come from?
▪ Museum, archive?
▪ What does this tell you about the cultural products you chose?
o When was it made?
o How were the cultural products used?
o What’s going on in the cultural products you chose?
o What concepts/ideas from class could be connected to what you are seeing?
• You will need a conclusion paragraph. Pay attention to your conclusion as it should not be a conclusion about the cultural evidence itself, but a conclusion to the analysis you conducted.
How to Find Your Cultural Evidence
Smithsonian SIRIS Gallery
The SIRIS Image Gallery contains a sampling of visual records that are part of the Collections Search Center. The Image Gallery includes over 530,000 electronic images from several archival repositories and museums at the Smithsonian.
Library of Congress search
Digital Public Library of America
A cooperative project to draw together online archives, images, sound, video, and textual files from libraries across the web
SSU Library Primary Sources
You could email Hillary Smith (SSU sociology subject librarian) for research help.
How to Present Your Cultural Evidence
• Use publicly available evidence that illustrates and illuminates the sociological themes and concepts. Do not use personal photographs or take new photographs for this assignment.
• You may crop the photographs you use, or resize them, but do not otherwise edit the images.
• Your cultural evidence should be embedded in the word document. These should be numbered consecutively such as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). If your evidence is video clips, provide the links with their titles.
• A short caption (no more than 150 characters) beneath each evidence, beginning with the number. E.g., “Figure 1. Wedding portrait of the bride and groom with another man.”
• Identify the photographer (or creator), the year of publication, and the title of the evidence, if any of these are known to you. If you downloaded the image from the internet, list the date retrieved and the URL. (e.g., Figure 1. Wedding portrait of the bride and groom with another man [Photograph]. Retrieved September 2, 2021 from http://collections.si.edu/search/detail/edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.137.24.2?)
• All sources, including any sources cited in your essay as well as each of your cultural evidence, should be included in your reference page. Read this for tips for ASA style.