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SOC 439: Social Justice and Environment (Professor Hardnack) [Spring 2021]

SOC 439 Climate Crisis Group Project

*Always consult Cougar Courses for full research assignment guidelines.

Formatting the Group Paper

Group Paper (50% of grade distributed equally across group members) (5-7+ pages. Typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, standard format, with in-text citations and a references page in ASA format.)

Assignment Guidelines

For your group project, you will develop and present research on a climate justice-related issue. This can relate to the impacts of climate change on specific social groups, systemic issues related to climate, or social movements that are working to address the climate crisis. Each group will do a 10-minute presentation related to their research recorded on Zoom. Using insights from sociological perspectives on environmental issues, you will then write a paper discussing the following subtopics in the body of your paper which represent an aspect of a rubric that we will design as a class:

  1. Describe your topic and provide a rationale for investigating it from a sociological perspective.
  2. Description of the history/magnitude/prevalence of the climate issue/organization.
  3. Discuss how theories from environmental sociology relate to the topic.
  4. Discuss solutions. What is being done about it? What’s your evaluation of these solutions?
  5. Offer a conclusion to your paper and describe how your research connects to at least one of the course learning outcomes listed below:
    • Analyze environmental issues and conflicts from a sociological perspective.
    • Assess the competing theoretical approaches in the field of environmental sociology.
    • Articulate the ethical and social justice implications of environmental sociology.
    • Explain how economic, cultural, and political systems contribute to the destruction of nature and perpetuate environmentally unsustainable practices.
    • Understand the basic theories and evidence regarding the emergence and activities of environmental and counter-environmental social movements.

You are required to use at least 5 “outside” scholarly sources such as academic journal articles and academic books in addition to course readings and other sources.

Group Contribution Assessment

In addition to the above components, each student will hand in an assessment form that describes the responsibilities of each group member and your own contributions to the project. You can divide the work however you want, possible responsibilities could involve the following: data collection, writing different sections, putting presentation together, etc. Of course, you should collaborate on these when possible.

Group Presentation

Group Presentation (10% of project grade distributed equally across group members): In your presentations, you should summarize the points listed above that are covered in your paper. The link to your recording will posted in the Presentation discussion forum.

Peer and Individual Assessment

Peer and Individual Assessment (40% project grade): Individual grades will be adjusted based on your individual assessments of how you contributed to the group project. This is not a competition based on who participated the most. If you were tasked with a set of responsibilities, you should describe how you followed through on those responsibilities. Professor Hardnack will distribute a form for your assessments that includes assessment criteria along with a brief description of your responsibilities and the contributions you made to the group project. Areas of evaluation include service to the group, commitment to the group (showing up to meeting etc…), attention to group tasks, and group communication.