For the past two days my sociology students have been presenting their final project research to the peers in the class. I feel like I’ve just sat through two days of TED talks – I am just bursting with pride at the variety and quality of the research they have attempted after only one semester of my badly-organized sociology curriculum.
Many of these students are AP/honors caliber, but this course was really meant to be a fun, low-impact elective for them. I am so pleased with the effort they put in, and as we prepare to send this class of 2017 and 2018 out into the real world I know there are some definite awesome eggs in this basket. Some of their topics were way too broad, but as they figured that out (part of the research process) they utilized the process we learned in class and designed some pretty ambitious research projects. For a paper that did not include a word count requirement, most wrote at least 10 pages in their journey to answer their questions. Enjoy our class research questions and project titles:
Mental health and policy:
- How does stress affect the average high school student?
- What factors prevent a woman from leaving a domestic abuse situation?
- Are psychopaths and sociopaths born or made?
- What are the effects of incarceration on juveniles?
- Why the blue are so blue: mental health and police officers
- How does parental divorce affect child development?
- Can music affect mood, and which genres have which effects?
|Visual from Emoji presentation|
- What is the ideal age for marriage in America?
- Do emojis enhance or hinder emotional expression?
- How do arranged marriages compare to conventional American love matches?
- Is the “Miracle on Ice” hockey victory of 1980 indicative of the later fall of the USSR?
- What are similarities and differences between German and US WWII propaganda, and what implications do they have for today’s nationalism?
- What is religion and what factors lead a person to adopt a certain belief system?
Pop Culture and Society:
|Visual from hiring bias presentation|
- What factors are most important to high school seniors making college decisions?
- How do YouTubers make a living?
- How does hyper-masculinity affect the American male?
- How do conspiracy theories gain traction?
- Is there a certain type of person attracted to church youth groups?
- Is hiring bias based on sexual orientation intentional or subconscious?
- Why are American politics so divisive, and why do Americans seem to favor partisanship in personal party identification?
- “Fat people don’t go as high”: Perceptions of cheerleaders in American high schools
- Are there different generational perceptions of tattoos, and what causes these differences?
- What is the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement?
- How do high school seniors make college decisions?
- Why do some parents choose charter schools for their children, and what are the key characteristics of these institutions?
- What happens to recruited Division I athletes who do not go pro?
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