University of Colorado Public Health Emergency of International Concern Discussion

The objective of this paper is to think about the “outcomes” in our lives as a function of personal choice structured by cultural and historical conditions (the very definition of a sociological imagination). Think about the domains of life listed below. What does your life look like (outcomes) in those areas? For example: what type of family did you grow up in? What was your gender assignment at birth? How was that structured by the medical institution and the available categories in language? How did that impact your socialization? What is your gender identity now? How might that be possible (on only just now possible) in historical context? How is the way you speak, dress, accessorize, wear your hair, etc an outcome of choices and available options at this time and place for you in your particular social position? How have those situations been shaped by larger social structures (class, race, religion, age, laws, economics, culture, social responses to physical conditions or mental health, education, historical conditions, available language categories, etc)? Notice also there may be influences that are not as absolute as structural conditions: techniques of social control (discussed in socialization and deviance sections) like approval or disapproval of important others, reputation sanctions (prestige or ridicule), belonging sanctions, or internalization of norms that do indeed shape our decision-making and our actions, but are not structural constraints as defined in class as “requiring the permission of others.”

The point of these papers is to deeply reflect on how the outcomes in our lives are shaped by our choices which are shaped by social structure. Remember the sociologist’s claim about agency and structure: Ultimately human behavior is a result of choice, but not all choices are available to all people at all times.

Possible Domains to think about

School-elementary, secondary
Work (paid/unpaid, in-home or out)
Health (vaccines, doctors, medication, treatments, ability, mental health support, etc)
Living situation (location, type of residence, roomates? Etc)
What we eat, how we eat, where we eat, when we eat, how much (or little) we eat, with whom we eat, etc…
Presentation/style (hair, clothes, etc)
Products we use
Waste we produce and how we dispose of it
Relationship to animals (pets, food, wild animals, etc)
Relationship to nature (hiking, camping, how close to it, what kind, how defined)
Relationship to family (living arrangements, how often members are seen, how defined, etc)
What we own
What we have studied/learned about
What leisure activities we engage in (music lessons, sports, hobbies, etc)
Friends (who, what types of people, how long, how many)
Romantic interests/partners
Driver’s license
Marital status
Sexual identity
Gender identity
Racial/ethnic identity
SES of family of origin
How you spend your time
Recreational activities (including substance use)
How fast you drive
Books you’ve read
Fertility (contraception, sexual activity)
Firearm ownership
Running for political office
Choices at university (major, tuition, acceptance, classes, administration, who’s in charge, etc)
Breaking the law (from speeding to drug use to vandalism, but please don’t talk about stuff we would need to report as we are mandatory reporters for the university. See what is covered here:,Equity%20and%20Compliance%20(OIEC)%20if)

Paper Two Writing Prompts:

For the writing of your paper, after reflecting on the questions and domains of your life above, pick one important (to you) domain where you clearly see outcomes shaped by choices and structural forces.

  1. Briefly describe a choice you have made in that area that produced a desired outcome (could be as simple as I recycle so I reduce my waste and feel better about myself). Identify the structural features of that choice (my city provides easy pickup, my residence facilitates this, I have access to information through social networks or other resources so knew I could choose it, etc), connecting with class readings and lecture. Describe how the structure of your social position and society may have provided you with more or less options from which to choose. Utilize, with specific and properly cited connections to at least two of the following concepts: institutions, socialization, culture, social control, groups and networks drawing connections from lecture, text chapters, and canvas readings.
  2. Next, briefly describe an outcome in one of these areas that is a result of forces beyond or in spite of your choices and actions. It may be a situation where you took actions toward a desired outcome but the social response resulted in an outcome that was not what you intended or wanted (such as being rejected from a job or school) or where your actions resulted in the outcome being in others’ control (such as being arrested or committed). Connect your observations explicitly with proper citations to at least two of the following concepts: institutions, socialization, culture, social control, groups and networks from lecture, text chapters, and canvas readings.

Grading Criteria: Both prompts are discussed in a maximum of 2 pages. At least one lecture, one text chapter and one canvas reading are utilized to explain how the situations are illustrations of key sociological concepts and demonstrate the writer’s understanding and ability to apply these concepts to real life situations.

Don't hesitate - Save time and Excel

Are you overwhelmed by an intense schedule and facing difficulties completing this assignment? We at GrandHomework know how to assist students in the most effective and cheap way possible. To be sure of this, place an order and enjoy the best grades that you deserve!

Post Homework