SOCI 1301 Unit 7


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Unit 7: Social Institutions: Family, Religion, Education, Politics, Economics



A.  Read the following selections from the Margin Notes by clicking on each link.


B.  Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to navigate. You need Adobe Reader to view PDF filesHELP MESSAGE.


C.  (Optional) Read the following chapters from the textbook.

Chapters 11 - 15


D.  The following Optional Links will help you do better in your course but they are not required.


E.  Activity #4: Interviewing the Elderly (10 points)To Do Note

For this activity you are responsible for interviewing an older relative, one who is at least 70 years of age -- the older the better.

If you no longer have an older relative, interview an older person who is not related to you -- a church member, a neighbor, a friend's relative or etc. Many nursing homes have elderly residents who never have visitors and would welcome the chance to spend an hour or two talking with a younger person.


Before Conducting the Interview

Read Purdue's Conducting an Interview. This isn't simply a conversation and there are right and wrong ways to go about this kind of research. You might also look at Conducting the Information Interview, a tutorial that assists students in conducting information interviews.


The Interview

Politely thank the interviewee for taking the time to talk with you. Tell the person that you are completing a class assignment and will use the answers given but will not use any names.

You may conduct the interview over the telephone if absolutely necessary but I strongly prefer a face-to-face interview.

Record the responses on paper or by taping the interview. (If you want to tape it, make sure you ask permission first.)

Ask the following questions.

  • Personal Information:  age, education level, marital statuses, children, anything else you think might be important (no names)

  • What would you say is the one most important thing you learned from your family while growing up at home?

  • What was elementary school like for you?

  • Which of your friends had the most influence on you while growing up and why?

  • When you were young, what was your family’s most important source of news and information?

  • How have you and your life changed since you were a child?

  • How have society and the world changed since you were a child?

  • Any additional appropriate questions you have

Important: Do not push for information about which there's any reluctance to answer or any loss of memory.


After the Interview

Think about the ideas your subject expressed during the interview. Use your notes/recording to look for patterns -- similarities and differences in experiences, in attitudes, in views of life, society and change -- between you and your subject.

While the information you learned and your analysis of it are important, I am also interested in your reactions. What things surprised, upset, angered (and any other reaction you might have had) you the most?

Write an analysis of your interview that includes (1) your subject's ideas, (2) any patterns between you and your subject that you noticed, (3) your reactions to the interview, and (4) specific and detailed connections to relevant course content. Your analysis should be thorough, specific, include relevant concepts from the course material and be free of spelling and grammar errors.

Do not give me a transcript of your interview. You may use a quote from time to time as an example of a point you're making but I want your analysis to address your ideas and reactions, not simply report what was said in the interview.


Activity Submission Instructions

By the deadline shown in the Course Schedule on the main page of the syllabus:

  • Send your analysis containing the 4 items requested in the body of a new email to

  • Put only your name and Activity #4 at the beginning of your email.

  • Be careful to use the correct subject line.

  • Late analyses will lose one point per day late, including weekends and holidays.



Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   06/01/2024 0830

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