The focus of this paper is to explore how residential patterns affect intergroup relations. You will use research approaches such as observation and secondary data analysis to further understand your community. Remember, you should conduct the observation (Step 2 below) on the same locale for which you completed the demographic report in your Week Three assignment (Step 1 below). If you are currently overseas or have other barriers that prevent you from physically accessing a location in the U.S., please contact your instructor for alternative assignment instructions.
Step 1: Using Secondary Data
Use the data gathered on your chosen locality in the Week Three assignment, “Demographic Report,” and implement any feedback from your instructor into your paper. If more data is needed, use demographic data from the latest census (available online using the US Census American FactFinder) and identify the various social and economic characteristics (i.e., education, population, housing, race, class, etc.) of this locale. You can also check government websites for your state, county or city for data. Present your findings in two to three pages of the paper.
Step 2: Using an Observational Study
Next, spend 30 to 60 minutes observing your community. Go to a central place in your town such as the center of the city, a major landmark, or you can drive or walk to different areas and observe for a few minutes. Take notes of what you observe, including the types of people you see, the economic conditions, as well as the businesses or other institutions that are present. Based on your observations, what can you tell about the economic condition of the majority of people? Is the locale integrated or segregated? In this step, consider the information you have gathered in Step 1 regarding social and economic characteristics, and identify whether it matches what you have recorded from your observation. Be sure to compare the data you gathered from your observations to what was found in the census data and make note if there are differences. Present your findings in one to two pages of the paper.
Step 3: Analysis and Reporting of Research
Analyze your data and present your responses in two to three pages in the paper:
- Describe how segregated the neighborhoods are in your locality. Be sure to consider the various social inequality indicators: race, ethnicity, class, gender, and perhaps sexuality for some areas.
- Indicate if there are policies, practices, or specific circumstances that have created and maintained these patterns.
Here are some examples of aspects to consider: Historically, has there always been racial segregation or not? Was it traditionally an area of immigration from a certain ethnic region? Is there an LGBT community? Was it an industrial area that had a strong working class community, or is it a technology area with highly educated citizens? Have there been efforts to desegregate or plans in the future?
- In Chapter 1 and throughout the text, you have explored several sociological theoretical perspectives. Indicate which theoretical perspective best presents your analysis of your locality. Describe why you have chosen this theoretical perspective and ensure you include detail on which theorist’s work is most representative