Create a presentation or a 15-20-minute speech on either same-sex marriage or immigration policy.
Many of the current political, legal, and social debates in U.S. society concern diversity and its related issues. Two of those debates have centered on immigration policy and same-sex marriage. These debates involve not only arguments regarding discriminatory treatment of particular ethnic groups or sexual minorities but also legal, economic, and religious questions and concerns.
In this assessment, you apply the sociological perspective to one of these debates. You research the political players and key arguments on the different sides of your chosen controversy, and you place them in historical and contemporary context to gain a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of the debate, and current and proposed policy solutions. Understanding the key developments and policy changes that pertain to your debate puts you in a position in which you can more accurately evaluate the merits of arguments made by politicians, leaders, and others with a stake in shaping future policy decisions.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
Discuss how sociological theory can be used to understand disparities in political power.
Competency 2: Identify historical and contemporary influences of discrimination in U.S. culture.
- Describe the evolution of the social movements that have emerged as a result of a diversity issue.
Competency 3: Analyze the effects of social policy using aggregated data.
- Address questions that reflect public perception using supporting data or research.
- Competency 4: Analyze how laws are applied or created based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and social class.
Analyze the evolution of antidiscrimination law to give context to current law or policy.
- Competency 5: Apply diversity strategies in professional, educational, and personal contexts.
- Discuss tactics employed by activists to promote a cause.
Competency 6: Communicate effectively.
- Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Your task in this assessment is to choose one of two debates—same-sex marriage or immigration policy—and create a presentation that would be delivered at a symposium on a college campus. You will need to place the debate in historical context, which will involve researching the history of policy as it pertains to your chosen topic and the social movements that developed as a result—for example, the gay rights movement. You will also be asked to address potential questions audience members might ask in this kind of situation.
- Your presentation should demonstrate your understanding of the debate you have chosen, as well as your ability to apply the sociological perspective to a complex and controversial social issue.
- Focusing on either same-sex marriage or immigration policy, create a PowerPoint presentation for the hypothetical audience you are addressing that addresses each of the items below. Include graphics with supporting data in the form of charts, tables, or graphs when appropriate, and include any other information that supports your message. Be sure to include extensive speaker’s notes (using the Notes feature in PowerPoint, which allows you to add notes to each slide) to provide detailed descriptions of each of the topics covered in the presentation
Complete the following:
- Provide an overview and description of the central issue you have chosen to address.
- Describe the evolution of the social movements (the gay rights movement or immigration rights movements, for example) that are a precursor for or have emerged as a result of your chosen issue.
Include a time line with key events to provide historical context.
- Describe any milestones that have characterized the development of the social movement involving your issue.
Briefly analyze the following for your selected topic:
The evolution of federal legislation on the topic over the past 10 years.
The current political landscape, including key political debates related to your central issue.
Introduce the important political players in the national debate.
Explain how at least one specific sociological theory can be used to understand why some players have more power than others in this debate. Examples of theories include conflict theory, power elite theory, and human capital theory.
Discuss how the continued uncertainty in political and legal environments affects stakeholders who are seeking to expand their rights or challenge existing policies.
- Describe tactics activists on either side of the debate have used to further the cause.
- The symposium coordinator has sent you the questions below in anticipation of your visit. Draft answers for each, typing your answers in the Notes box below the Questions slide you have created, if you are doing a PowerPoint presentation. If you are writing a speech, include the questions and answers at the end. Support your answers with research and data from scholarly sources. Choose the set of questions that is appropriate for your chosen topic.
- “Ninety percent of illegal immigrants are on the public dole. Why are we giving welfare benefits to people who aren’t citizens?”
- “Mexicans are taking away our jobs. What is the best way to stop them?”
- Same-sex marriage:
“I heard 75 percent of people are against gay marriage. Who are they?”
- “If we allow gays to marry, won’t it destroy our social fabric?”
- Additional Requirements
- Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
- Length: If you chose to do a PowerPoint presentation, it should contain 15–20 slides. Slides should contain no more than a few bulleted points and/or a graphic. Rather than cramming slides with text, use the Notes box below each slide to explain and expand on your bulleted points in each slide. If a written speech is chosen, it should be 15–20 minutes long when read aloud, aloud or at least 1500 words.
- Format: Include a title and reference slides or pages. Cite any sources used in current APA style and format.
Sources: Cite at least six credible scholarly sources to support your presentation.Resources: Data Sources
- These sources, which are a good starting point for your research, feature data on same-sex marriage and immigration.
- McCarthy, J. (2017). U.S. support for gay marriage edges to new high. Gallup News. Retrieved from http://news.gallup.com/poll/210566/support-gay-mar…
This report features polling data on perceptions of same-sex marriage among different demographics groups.
- Migration Policy Institute. (2017). U.S. immigration trends. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/…
This collection of resources from the Migration Policy Institute includes current and historical data on immigration trends.
- Pew Research Center. (2017). Gay marriage and homosexuality. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/gay-marriage-and…
- For data on shifting attitudes toward gay marriage in the U.S. and around the worlds, see this collection of research briefs.
- Pew Research Center. (2017). Immigration trends. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/immigration-tren…
This site features research reports containing recent data in various immigration trends.Resources: Policy Issues
- These resources discuss policy issues and related social issues surrounding the debates over immigration and same-sex marriage.
- Davidson, A. (2015, March 24). Debunking the myth of the job-stealing immigrant. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/magazine/debunki…
This article challenges the argument that immigrants are taking Americans’ jobs.
Healey, J. F., Stepnick, A., & O’Brien, E. (2019). Race, ethnicity, gender, and class: The sociology of group conflict and change (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Available in the courseroom via the VitalSource Bookshelf link.
- Chapters 10 and 12 in this textbook focus on issues connected to same-sex marriage and immigration.
- Krogstad, J. M. (2016, April 20). Rise in English proficiency among U.S. Hispanics is driven by the young. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/20/ri…
- This report discusses English usage among Hispanic immigrants.
- Powell, B., Quadlin, N. Y., & Pizmony-Levy, O. (2015). Public opinion, the courts, and same-sex marriage: Four lessons learned. Social Currents, 2(1), 3–12.
This research study uses both quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate arguments of same-sex marriage opponents.
- FMG Video
The following video was purchased through Films Media Group for use in this Capella course. Any distribution of video content or associated links is prohibited.
This documentary examines perspectives on being gay in American society.