The purpose of this assignment is to recognize sociological concepts at
play in your lived experience. Keeping a field log of your social and
institutional experiences for one day, you will critically discuss how
your daily life is shaped and constrained by society. This will allow
you engage with many of the sociological concepts learned in class.
The paper should be 4-6 typed pages (1100-1650), Cite 4 sources with in-text citations, double-spaced, 12-point font, with
1″ margins. Remember to use APA format to cite and reference your
Create a field log (example). For one day, observe and record the key
interactions and institutions in your lived experience. Starting with
waking up, who is the first person you talk to? What do you do next-
take family members to school, go to the gym, go to work and interact
with coworkers? Throughout the day you will take on different roles by
interacting with different people and in different situations, and be in
contact with different social institutions (education, government,
health, etc). Type or photograph your field log and submit it with your
Try to wait one or more days before starting this step. Revisit your
field log and apply sociological analysis to your observations.
Describe how our day is shaped and constrained by social norms.
Analyze how at least four sociological concepts learned in class (eg.
roles, institutions, interactions, impression management, stage theory,
emotional labor) apply to your field log observations. This part of the
paper should not be focused on the general social norms you described
earlier, dig in with specific concepts in this from our text (refrain
from using dictionaries).
For at least two of the concepts, find and incorporate an appropriate
source that highlights how sociologists study this concept in everyday
society (for example, emotional labor in the restaurant industry). Not
sure what constitutes an appropriate source? See our Announcement on
this in the classroom- tips and a learning module are provided there.
For example, we discussed gender socialization:
In an article by Crespi (2011) that studied gender socialization and
gender roles within the family, results showed that a cross-gender
relationship between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons has emerged
as significant in determining traditional and non-traditional gender
attitudes. The research suggested that the relationship with the parent
of the opposite sex could be a strong factor in reducing stereotyped
attitudes regarding gender roles (Crespi, 2011). *Use a different
example in your paper, the purpose here is to show your research skills
rather than repeat my research skills.*
Reflect on your role as a larger part of society (i.e. your motives,
instincts, feelings, and/or structural constraints). Discuss ways other
people affected you and the ways you affected others in the social
experiences of your day.
Sample Field Log
Below is a brief field log to give you an idea of the social
interactions and institutions you might look for in your day. With the
observations are sample course concepts that relate to the
observations. Be creative in exploring and applying concepts- we will
all apply concepts differently even if the scenes we observe are very
5:45am: Wake up, interact with children.
Gender roles, nuclear family, folkways
6:30am: Interact with spouse and children. Eat breakfast, run, shower.
8:00am: Arrive at airport, check in interaction with airline customer service; interaction with TSA.
Social structure, bureaucracy, norms, mores, social control
9:00am: Wait with other passengers to board flight; purchase a drink at
coffee shop; employees have a tip jar; a family sitting close by is
watching the news and commenting on what they think is wrong with other
Emotional labor, ethnocentrism, Piaget’s stages of development
9:30am: On flight with family having a difficult time with small children; flight attendant offers to help them.
Emotional labor, gender roles, family
12pm: Arrive at destination airport; drive two hours to see extended
family. Along the road there are farmers with fruit stands. See
homeless person asking for assistance in exchange for work.
4pm: Extended family arrives for potluck dinner; look at family photos
together and share family memories. Watch evening news- local robbery
Social deviance, material culture
6pm: Stop at church to meet family friend, see a bible study group
inside; lots of religious symbols; someone remarks on a new church being
built to accommodate a different racial group.
Religion, race, monotheism
Assignment 2 meets the following course objectives:
Apply a sociological perspective to the social world.
Analyze contemporary social issues using the sociological imagination
and use sociological theories and concepts to analyze everyday life.
Recognize and define social structure and social interaction
Explain the reciprocal relationship in the influence between societal
and structural factors, individual behavior and the self’s development