Theory Application Paper in Films

The conceptual frameworks introduced in this course have unlimited potential to help us draw meaningful conclusions about our observations. Films provide a creative and interesting way for you to collect, sort, and evaluate your observations and apply conceptual frameworks to make sense of what is on the big screen.
1. Select and view one of the full-length feature films listed below under “Film Options.” They are all excellent films, I promise!
2. Choose a conceptual framework from the list of available options. It works best if you choose one with which you are most familiar/comfortable with.
3. Watch the film. You’ll probably need to watch it more than once, so do plan for that.
a. As you watch your film, ask, how does this conceptual framework/theory help me make sense of what I am observing? Take notes on the points that answer this question!
4. Create a strong argument and structure for your paper that applies one of the theories to draw meaningful conclusions about your observations.

Your discussion of examples from the film will present a clear and concise picture of a social world that your reader has no experience of, such that anyone reading your paper can grasp your argument and your use of the film as an illustration.
Film Options
All films are available at no cost to you through ASU Kanopy Streaming and accessible through the ASU Library Resource List menu in Canvas.
● Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015)

Conceptual Framework Options
● Chapter 4 (Functionalism)
● Chapter 5 (Critical Theory)
● Chapter 6 (Conflict, and Dependency Theories)
● Chapter 7 (Exchange, Exchange Network, and Rational Choice Theories)*
○ You may need to read ahead if you want to use one of the theories in Chapter 7
Additional Guidelines and Technical Requirements
Do not use external sources of information for this assignment. There is a lot of great information about sociological theory accessible through the internet. However, there are subtle variations in interpretations, explanations, and concepts to sources provided to you in this class.
You must use the required textbook and the readings I provide you in Canvas to inform your work. Out of course sources, including those posted in Yellowdig are not permitted.

All information must be presented in your own words. Quotes do not by themselves indicate comprehension of readings and can often hide your degree of comprehension. The ability to express yourself through writing is hard; it takes practice. Paraphrasing (rewriting definitions and explanations in your own words) is a great way to demonstrate your comprehension of a subject and develop your communications skills and abilities to convey that information to an audience.

Length and Formatting. The typical length for this paper is between 3 – 4 double-spaced pages (not including references page) with 1-inch margins all around. Please use a 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. You do not need to include a title page or an abstract. APA formatted citations with page numbers included are expected. You will have two APA formatted references on your references page. One for your textbook and one for the film.

Writing. Writing well is an important skill that takes daily practice. Here are some helpful resources if you find you need support in this area:
● ASU’s Writing Centers,
● Cringeworthy: Bad Writing Habits that Hurt your College Writing, Part 1
● Cringeworthy: Bad Writing Habits that Hurt your College Writing, Part 2
● Writing for Sociology, 2nd Edition

Outline of your Paper
1. Introduction (3 paragraphs)
a. Introduce the reader to the film. The film is your data.
b. Introduce the reader to the conceptual framework you are using to make sense of your data.
c. Introduce a compelling argument to explain why the conceptual framework you’ve chosen is useful for drawing meaningful conclusions about your data.
2. Body (3-4 paragraphs)
a. Observation 1 with explanation and supporting details
b. Observation 2 with explanation and supporting details
c. Observation 3 with explanation and supporting details
3. Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
a. Overall summary
b. Describe limitations of this conceptual framework
c. Introduce an alternative conceptual framework from Chapters 4, 5, 6, or 7 and explain what gap in your analysis that would fill.

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