1. Sociology researches social issues through the use of theoretical frameworks. Examine the news and pick a controversial news story about a big current social issue; this could be police brutality, poverty, sexual assault, etc.). Consider what different questions a sociologist researching this topic might ask if they were investigating this issue from a conflict versus functionalist versus symbolic interactionist perspective; this is to say, how would each of these theories examine this social issue? How might these differing approaches work together to build a deeper sociological understanding of the issue?
2. In regards to the sociological imagination, think of a problem that impacts you personally (e.g., the high cost of tuition, unemployment, divorce, etc.) and explain how you would make sense of it differently if you viewed it as (a) only a personal problem or (b) influenced by a public issue. How do possible solutions to the problem differ depending on how you view it?
3. Imagine you would like to look at reasons behind the high college dropout rate in the United States. How might your explanations differ based on whether your analysis was on the micro, meso, or macro level? Why? Which level or levels would you focus on for your study? Why?