Analyzing Social Problems in a Sociology Class

Laura Toussaint

For this assignment, you will expand upon your understanding of a social problem by analyzing two organizations/movements that are committed to addressing it. One organization/movement must be based in the US and one organization/movement must be based in another country. For example, you might explore the work of Race Forward with respect to the social problem of racism or the work of National Organization of Women (NOW) with respect to the social problem of sexism as the US-based organizations you select for those particular issues, then you would find a similar organization in another country addressing that same problem. You will also discuss how the two organizations/movements you selected exemplify cultural humility in their work and connect their work to four sociological concepts and one sociological theory.


Your grade is based on how thoroughly you address each of the following components of the assignment outlined below and your adherence to the stated requirements, such as minimum word or slide count. Please read each part carefully, clearly label each part, and fully answer all questions embedded in each part.

Part 1

Select and clearly define a social problem of your choice. Describe two organizations or social movements that seek to address this social problem and which exemplify the principles of cultural humility in their work (this could be as simple as providing educational material on their website or as tangible as advocating for specific policy changes, but you want to make sure to select organizations/movements that provide enough information on their work regarding the principles of cultural humility as described in part 2 in order for you to fully answer the instruction prompts for this assignment). One organization must be based in or working on this problem in the United States and the other organization must be based in or working on this problem in another country of your choice.

Part 2

Next, discuss the ways that each organization or movement demonstrates the following principles of cultural humility in addressing the social problem they work on:

  1. Lifelong learning and critical self-reflection (regarding knowledge of others’ beliefs and values and awareness of our own assumptions and prejudices)
  2. Recognizing and challenging power imbalances (within partnerships, policymaking decisions, institutional hierarchies, etc.)
  3. Institutional accountability (including advocacy to improve access and opportunity for marginalized populations)

Part 3

Define and discuss four concepts from your course material (textbook, “Sociological Perspectives on the US Capitol Insurrection and Related Events,” “Systemic Racism and Anti-Racist Resources,” and/or “Definitions and Resources-Social Identity, Intersectionality, Discrimination” files found in the “start here-important documents” module, etc.) that relate to your chosen social problem and explain how they relate to the work of the two organizations you selected. Please cite the name of the file or section in the textbook in which you found your selected concepts. Some examples of concepts are stratification, ethnicity, racism, sexism, and others as mentioned in our readings and materials (NOTE: these are just examples of concepts – they may NOT necessarily apply to your topic – you need to select concepts that apply to your own topic).

Part 4

Define at least one sociological theory from your textbook (i.e., functionalism, conflict theory, feminist theory, symbolic interactionism, and queer theory) that relates to your chosen social problem and explain how this theory helps us better understand the social problem you selected.


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