Sociology Concepts Comprehension (Identity, Alienation, Rationality, Power)

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For the short answer questions, you will need to respond to 7 of the questions provided (bellow). Each answer should be around 200 words. Your answers should provide evidence of engagement with and understanding of the key concepts about identity, alienation, rationality, and power.

  • Your answers should be expressed in academic English.
  • You will not be able to use direct quotations from the readings or lecture material.
  • Explain concepts in your own words; if you cannot clearly explain an idea/concept in your own words, you probably haven’t yet fully grasped its meaning.
  1. To what extent can identities be said to be “integral” to a person (i.e. is a particular identity an essential feature of who you are)?
  2. When thinking sociologically about identity, subject positions are associated with roles learned through socialization. Explain how individuals learn those roles through socialization?
  3. According to Benedict Andersen the nation is a cultural artifact and an imagined community. What did he mean by this and what are key means through which the nation is imagined?
  4. Marx described “alienation” as an outcome of capitalist economic relations. Sociologists have since expanded the concept to think about how it might relate to other social processes (i.e. “social alienation”). In what other ways might we be said to experience alienation in society?
  5. Gramsci understood hegemony as a form of rule in which subordinate groups consent to the exercise of power or domination. According to Gramsci how does hegemony operate in capitalist societies?
  6. Weber saw rationalization as an “iron cage” that increasingly dominated all social life. Discuss how rationalization shapes higher education.
  7. According to Marxists how do relationships of power operate in capitalist societies?
  8. According to Foucault how does modern disciplinary power differ from traditional sovereign power? (e.g. as exercised by monarchs, kings and emperors)


Last Updated on April 22, 2020