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SOCI 4445 Book Review and Social Diagnosis Paper (Worth up to 24% of final grade

SOCI 4445
Book Review and Social Diagnosis Paper
(Worth up to 24% of final grade)
General Instructions
This paper will primarily be based upon your reading of either Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm. At a minimum, your paper must include at least one citation from Allan V. Horwitz’s book, one citation from the Roger’s and Pilgrim book, and one citation from either Marx, Weber, Durkheim, or Freud, in addition to multiple citations from the Fromm. No outside citations are needed. See the syllabus/D2L for due date/time.Submit as a Word doc or docx, by uploading it to D2L.
Formatting
1500-2000 words (I’ll accept up to 2250). 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial). Double spaced. ASA citation style is preferred, but any citation style you are comfortable with (APA, for example) is fine, so long as you use it consistently. See/use the providedtemplate file for more details on format.
Content
Your paper will have six sections: Title Page, Introduction, Book Review, Social Diagnosis, Conclusion, and References. I have given these headings in the template that you should use for each section. Below are instructions and tips for writing each.
Title
In addition to the title, your title page should include your name, date, and word count.
Introduction (150-200 words)
Use the heading: Introduction. Your introduction should, in about one paragraph, explain the structure of your paper, why your reader should care about the topic, and your last sentence should include a thesis statement that tells your reader what your main argument is in relation to Fromm’s work and your social diagnoses. 
Although you allowed to have an original thesis statement that guides your paper, I encourage you to focus yourself by followingone of these directions:
1.) You could explain what the connection is between Fromm’s diagnosis and your own, such as, how you use Fromm’s method of thinking through social problems to understandmental health/illness caused by modern society today.
2.) How and why Fromm needs to be updated to reflect current conditions.
3.) How and why Fromm’s diagnosis remains relevant to today.
4.) How and why society and mental illness are co-constructed (as society produces mental illness, those of us with mental illness reproduce a mentally ill society creating a feedback loop…).
5.) How and why anything short of fundamentally changing society will fail to reduce mental illness (treating the symptoms not the cause…)
6.) Why despite being able to diagnose the problems of society and evaluate their human costs, we have so far failed to bring about qualitative changes from the time of Fromm’s diagnosis to now.
Do We Live in a “Mad” Society? A Review of Erich Fromm’s Escape From Freedom (600-750 words)
Use the heading above for this section. Use the question in the heading to guide your thoughts on the review, ultimately with the goal of telling your reader how you think Fromm would answer that question and why. Reviews need to be succinct, but they tend to always include three parts:
1.) A concise summary of the content of the book. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, and purpose.
2.) A critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective and persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
3.) A review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it; who it is written for, the value of reading it, whether it is worth the time, and how it could enhance our thinking on an issue.
Writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration; and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft.
What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question.
• What is the thesis—or main argument—of the book? If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished?
• What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? 
• How does the author support her argument? What evidence does she use to prove her point? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? 
• How does the author structure her argument? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not?
• How has this book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the book to your reader?
• Beyond the internal workings of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text’s production:
• Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, training, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. 
Writing the review
• Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review.
• Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. 
A few general considerations:
It is generally good practice to not use definitive language such as “never” “always” “only” “definitely” etc…
• Do not get bogged down on one section of the book to the exclusion of the whole picture.
• Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
• With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review.
• Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully.
• Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement. But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment.
Modern Society and Mental Illness: A Social Diagnosis of America
(600-750 words)
Use this heading for the next section. Writing a social diagnosis is a form of theorizing. For this section, you are theorizing the link between modern society and mental illness in America. You can take this in any direction you want, so long as there is a clear and explicit line between thinking sociologically and your explanation of how society and mental illness relate. Remember C. Wright Mills explanation of the sociological imagination: “[N]either the life of the individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both… [t]he sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society…No social study that does not come back to the problems of biography, of history and of their intersections within a society has completed its intellectual journey.” So how do we do this?
1. The first step is observation. “Rule number one when you carry out observation in such a way that it will favourtheorizing is that it has to be very, very broad in nature. It should include objects and it should draw on all of the senses of the researcher as well as the people she studies. You should also make an effort to tap an unusually broad range of sources – movies, poetry, dreams, graffiti, newspaper articles or whatever. The reason for this is that your aim at this stage is to try to find something new, not to be methodical.”
2. Second, “you should not reproduce the categories that people use in their everyday lives in your analysis, but go beyond these and try to locate social facts.”
3. “A third theoretical point is that everything you observe does not qualify as ‘facts’. These have typically to be pulled out from what you observe; and this can be a complex and difficult process.”
4. During the observation, it is also important to not try to develop a theory. Most people have a tendency to jump to conclusions, especially when they have a pet theory. Theory must be based on a thorough type of knowledge of what is being studied; and till this stage has been reached, it is imperative not to develop any theory. At this stage of the theorizing process it may be helpful to bring in an already existing concept (or several of these), to get a better handle on the phenomenon. Or you may come up with a new name to describe the concept you’ve observed if one does not already exist.
5. The last step in theorizing is to come up with an explanation. There exist many different ways to explain things, dependent on the science involved. There often also exist competing theories of explanations in the same science. In sociology, for example, some explanations take the meaning of the actors into account (say, Weber’s interpretive sociology), while others do not (say, demography or rational choice sociology). It is hard to come up with a good explanation. In order to succeed, you often have to draw on more than your capacity for logical reasoning, such as imagination and your sense for intuition. To some extent this is true also for the other stages in the theorizing process, but it is extra important here since the explanation constitutes the centerpiece of a theory
So how do you write this? Well, remember to start with your observations. Then think about them conceptually. This would be a good place to pull in Marx, Durkheim, Weber, or Freud. Do their concepts of alienation, anomie, the Protestant ethic, or repression help you to think about your observations? How can you explain these observations and draw on social facts (empirical information and/or logical justifications) to support your explanations? In this section, you are telling your reader how you think step-by-step in a sociological manner using your sociological imagination to explain the link between our society and mental illness. In doing so, you are providing a diagnosis of our condition.
Conclusion (150-200 words)
Use the heading Conclusion for this section. Provide a summary of your main points and what you want your reader to take away with them and think about. If you have ideas for what we should do, where our attention needs to turn to next, etc., place them here.
References
List of all of your cited works in either ASA or APA format.

The post SOCI 4445
Book Review and Social Diagnosis Paper
(Worth up to 24% of final grade appeared first on essaynook.com.

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