Symbols and Social Research Discussion

Part 1. 

Using your newfound sociological imagination, consider the power of symbols within society.  Symbolic Interactionists point out symbols are things people attach meaning to and use to communicate.  Think about the culture you live in and identify THREE symbols in popular culture.  These can be logos of certain companies like the Starbucks logo, jingles or slogans of a product like “Just Do It” for Nike (do not use any of these examples).  Address the following prompts and discuss with your classmates how symbols affect society positively and negatively.

  1. Identify three symbols in society (one related to each module one chapter) and explain what they are and their meaning. Express any thoughts or feelings about the meaning of these symbols
  2. Discuss how you came to understand what these symbols represent.
  3. Discuss how these symbols have impacted society.  

In using the sociological imagination, you want to look at how these symbols have impacted society from many different facets.  For example, have they changed communication by introducing a new argot, which is defined as specialized vocabulary peculiar to a particular class or group of people especially that of an underworld group, devised for private communication and identification?  Or how have these logos affected interaction and social behavior?  For example, people use the term ‘Google’ to express looking up something on the Internet.  For support of your symbol explanation, you can choose an outside source if needed, however, be sure to read ‘Resources’ below for the requirements of writing assignment resources.

Part 2. 

Sociologists utilize a rigorous research model to produce quality sociological data. This model includes several different research methods as outlined and described in Chapter 5. Using what you’ve read about these methods, describe a potential study you could implement to research the impact of symbols on society. Be sure to address the following questions:

  1. State a possible research question about symbols. For example, “What symbols do high schoolers associate with popularity?”
  2. Which research method would you select and why?
  3. Who would you include in your sample and why?
  4. Describe the procedures of your study. How would you get your data?