Using Your Sociological Imagination: Roger and Me
Due Tuesday, February 21
In 1989 the documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore, made a film called Roger and Me about the impact of the closing of several GM automobile plants on his home -town of Flint, Michigan. You will use this film as a basis for your first paper. You can rent it on-line or you can find it at your local public library or video store. I will also put my copy on reserve at the QCC library and we will view the film in class.
Your goal in this paper is to demonstrate your understanding of the sociological imagination and some of the basics of social theory.
Private Troubles: In the first section of the paper, you will tell the story of Flint, Michigan from the point of view of one of the characters in the film. You may want to use the first-person in your narrative. How did the plant closings affect this character? What kind of personal problems did it create for this character? What kinds of individual solutions to theses problems did the character pursue? How did this character make sense of or understand what he or she was experiencing. 2.
Public Issues: In the second part of your paper, you will take the point of view of a sociologist. Using your sociological imagination, you will describe the events that occurred in Flint in terms of public issues. In other words, you will explain what happened to your character in terms of large-scale social events and you will identify what those events were. You will explain how and why the problems faced by your character need to be understood as public issues and you will identify what those public issues are. 3.
Social Theory: Finally, you will explain how the sociological paradigms, or social theories that we have learned about can help us to understand and describe what happened in Flint. Specifically, explain how a functionalist would view and explain what happened, and contrast this to the perspective of a Marxist. In this...
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