1-2 pages; single space, 1″ margins Pick only one prompt to answer. 1. Parsons and pattern variables Consider the various social roles you undertake as a college student—class participant, team member in group assignments, club member, and even as a friend. Reflect on how Parsons’ pattern variables illuminate the expectations and interactions within these roles. Analyze situations where you encounter each of the patterns that Parsons identified. How do these patterns influence your identity and actions as a student? 2. Merton and Manifest and Latent functions Drawing upon Merton’s theory of manifest and latent functions, evaluate the multifaceted impact of social networking platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) on society. Discuss the manifest functions these platforms purport to offer. Subsequently, take a close look at the latent consequences.
Reflect on your own interactions with social media: what latent functions have you personally observed or experienced? How have these functions shaped your behavior, affected your relationships, and influenced your perception of societal norms? Utilize sociological theories and concepts to substantiate your analysis and personal reflections. 3. Merton and Strain Theory Analyze the applicability of Merton’s Strain Theory in understanding the varied responses to social pressure among individuals in educational institutions. Consider how the five modes of individual adaptation—conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion—manifest among students facing the pressures of academic performance and social expectations. In your analysis, include a personal reflection on how you may have observed or experienced these adaptations in your own educational journey or in the behavior of your peers. How do these adaptations illustrate the broader social contexts that influence individual behavior?