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Social inequality

Identify a sociologically relevant topic or problem of your choosing. For your final project, you must link that topic/problem to the wide range of tools of sociological thought you have learned this semester in a presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) or written review. Your project must substantially fulfill the following requirements:

Give a background of the topic or problem you have chosen and discuss why it would benefit from being understood through a sociological lens. What assumptions do people make about it that sociology can inform (or change)? What does sociology bring to the table that differs from people’s everyday social and cultural assumptions?
Discuss how two sociological theories can be applied. In doing so, you should make clear that you understand how the core perspectives of the theory can connect to and offer insight on the real-world example you have chosen. In other words, how would this theory interpret your topic?
It may be easiest to choose from the major theories (Structural-Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Conflict Theory), but recall that there are some other theories presented in your readings. Discuss how two sociological concepts can be applied. In doing so, you should show how these concepts can be seen at work inside the topic/problem you’ve identified. Use them to zero in on aspects of your example and interpret them. You may choose from the following list of concepts: Social Structure Culture Socialization Social inequality
Social identity
Including groups and categories
Power and authority (counts as one)
Deviance
Social change

Sample Solution

Operatic heroines are delivered into numberless violent deaths’ . Unfortunately, both heroines in Strauss’s Salome and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk meet the same fate. However both female protagonists are completely different to their contemporaries – we feel complete empathy for these arguably terrible women. We feel they are victims of their situations, forced to do the unthinkable acts they end up doing. The same can almost be said for the composers- they were reacting to the situations they were in at the time of composing these works, responding to the society they lived in. In their cases, it didn’t result in death, although it was touch and go in Shostakovich’s case! Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District was first performed in January 1934 in St Petersburg, which was known as Leningrad. Shostakovich’s first opera ‘The Nose’ was first fully staged in 1930, was never performed again until 1974, a year before Shostakovich’s death. This was because the opera fell out of favour with the regime’s groups in the Soviet Union. To avoid or reduce criticism, Shostakovich then began to write more instrumental pieces or ballets as these were non-verbal works. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was possibly intended as ‘an attempt to answer his critics and write a Russian opera suited to the times’ . It is thought this ‘change of heart’ was suggested in an article Shostakovich wrote for Sovetskoe iskusstvo in 1933 where he said ‘the text must be a singing one, it must give the composer maximum possibility for freely flowing song’ . This statement was ‘comforting to those who were opposed to avant-garde attitudes and styles’ and possibly contributed to original intrigue and success of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which received ‘over 200 performances in its first couple of years alone and at one point Moscow had three separate productions running simultaneously’ . Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, was originally written as the first of four operas portraying women across different points in Russian history. Shostakovich said himself that he ‘want(ed) to write a Soviet Ring of the Nibelungs. It will be an operatic tetralogy about women’. The libretto is written by Shostakovich and Alexander Preys an
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