General Sociological Orientation

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Development of a General Sociological Orientation (GSO)

1.The sociological phenomenon that interests me the most is that of black people, or African Americans, and the stereotypes that are assigned to them. A stereotype is a simplified image of a group, object or an individual. The basic assumptions that I made about this particular social phenomenon are that the stereotypes that are assigned to black people have some truth to them, but are mostly based upon ignorance. I also believe that the stereotypes are in place to keep society's mind frame conditioned to place and keep certain races in superior and inferior positions. If children of each culture can categorize strangers to their "normal" groupings by the age of three, and can consistently match each racial category by the age of five, then what do adults believe, or have come to know as true in their minds, after a lifetime? Even though people's beliefs are set on what that they have been taught or what they have grown to believe, I feel that it is important to study this phenomenon scientifically because people still are ignorant to the truth of the truths.

2.The elements of my General Sociological Orientation:

Unit of Study – the unit of study is society in general. Moreover, specifically American society.

Focal Unit – The focal unit is people who are considered "black" or African American.

Units of Analysis – The unit of analysis is African American people and their actions related to what people believe. This will allow an in depth look at how African Americans are characterized and stereotyped.

Units of Observation – The group of people in America who are and are considered African American.

Relevance of Time – Time is relevant in apprehending the maturation of social attitudes and stereotypes associated with having darker skin. My interest exists in African American's initial arrival in the United States and how they have...
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