radical doubt

radical doubt

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Dear Sociology 1:

During class on Friday, April 24th, we watched a documentary titled, “Fast Food, Fat Profits” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViZQkCYfufk). The documentary featured several people implicated, in one way or another, with the fast food business or with the so-called obesity epidemic in America. The documentary channeled its materials through several frameworks (Goffman), which were employed in various ways from the beginning to end.

Your assignment for this week is to (1) identify at least two frameworks through which the documentary filtered its materials, objectively laying out how the documentary’s message was crafted into a cohesive and unitary whole. Please do not editorialize or make evaluative statements. I simply want you to identify what the frameworks are. Then, once you have objectively described two frameworks, I want you to (2) utilize “radical doubt,” which means you do not accept what is communicated at face value, that you assume the documentarian and the interviewees in the documentary have concealed information or they are providing a faulty representation of social reality. In other words, I want you to assume there is strong incentive to lie, mislead and evade.

It should be mentioned that practicing radical doubt is absolutely necessary for the growth of knowledge, in the generic sense, and for your own sociological growth, in the more specific sense. There are good reasons to practice radical doubt. For this assignment, your task is to show me what those reasons are. What is the value added of maintaining a cynical, doubting stance toward an author, authority, professor, expert, etc? Are there limits to the practice of radical doubt, of framing social reality through radical doubt?

Write 800-1000 words in a Microsoft Word document. And, as usual, submit to EEE. Due May 1st, 9am. Please follow the formatting requirements as stated in the syllabus. Failure to follow those requirements can result in a grade reduction.

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