SOC1100 Sci-Fi 1

Subject: General Questions / General General Questions
Question
Soc 1100. Science Fiction Assignment

For this class, you have to complete a series of science fiction essays. Here are the steps and requirements you should follow.

Choose two films from the following list. You will use these two sources for all of your Sci-Fi essays this term. Please check the ratings on these films in advance if you are concerned about ‘mature themes.’

Mad Max: Fury Road

Children of Men

In Time

Gattaca

Equilibrium

Waterworld

The main purpose of this assignment is for you to relate sociological concepts (presented in each chapter of the textbook) to the material presented in the films. Your final version should be precise in referring to the films. Here are just some of the things that should figure in your paper:

1) Culture. (Write two double-spaced pages on culture, talk about BOTH films.) The films present us with a vision of futuristic societies. You should provide an analysis of this society as if you were an anthropologist discovering a new culture. What seems to be the rules, norms, values, laws and symbols of this culture? Is there a dominant culture? Are there any subcultures or countercultures, describe them (and indicate why some are subcultures and others counterculture)? Describe a few elements of material and nonmaterial culture.

2) Socialization. (Write two double-spaced pages on socialization, talk about BOTH films.) In the chapter on socialization, you have learned that even though we tend to think of our “self” as the core of our identity, what makes us unique individuals, the reality is that self is a social product; our self is the product of our interactions with other people and our culture, or the part of the culture we have access to. How do you see this phenomenon reflected in the books and films? Additionally, very often, science fiction, a central character is presented with a challenge to his/her self. A common plot is for the central character to see the integrity of his self challenged. Describe how this happens. Who or which group poses such a challenge and how does the character detect, react and cope with such a challenge? In the books and films, can you identify examples of resocialization, total institutions and social devaluation? If yes, explain.

For each unit, you will have to focus on the corresponding chapters in the textbook in 2 double-spaced pages. For instance, for unit 1, you will have to write 2 pages relating to culture and another 2 pages on socialization for a total of 4 pages of writing for unit one. (Chapters 1 & 2 are not required.) You will need to bold the sociological concepts you use in your essays, please do not forget to do this.

These unit assignments are expected to be thorough; it is clear that you will not have read the complete book by the unit one deadline, but it is important that you start the reading and get an initial idea of what you have to do. The first few chapters of a book or the introductory scenes of a film usually tell you a lot about a given society and its culture.

You are expected to be specific. For instance, it is not enough to write that a government is totalitarian; you are expected to provide detailed explanations to support this assessment and to give precise examples from the book and film of your choice. Also, don’t write that a society seems technologically advanced. This is science fiction: societies are very likely to be technologically advanced. As sociologists, we are much more interested in the effects of technology on society and vice versa.

The unit sections and final paper should be Microsoft Word / Open Office documents. Please, do not use any other format. If you do not have Microsoft Word and use another word processor (such as Microsoft Works, WordPerfect, etc); save your document in Rich Text Format (the extension of your file should be .rtf). Alternatively, you can type your assignment directly in Blackboard but be sure to format it as required.

Finally, turn in your Sci-Fi essays by uploading them into Blackboard. Please upload only ONE file, that file will contain all of the 2-page essays required for that given unit. Please label all papers so I know which essay I’m reading, and who wrote it (your name). Go to Assignments and select Sci-Fi Essays.

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