SOC 4810 Group Project You will complete a project in a group of approximately five students that focuses upon one global challenge related to the a

SOC 4810 Group Project

You will complete a project in a group of approximately five students that focuses upon one global challenge related to the aging or dying experience. As a group, you will research your topic and explore it in more depth through one-on-one interactions and/or volunteer experiences with individuals who are impacted by the selected issue. All groups will present their findings and experiences to the class in a creative and engaging format at the end of the semester. Projects are worth 100 points, and a brief proposal will be due early in the semester.

Successful projects will demonstrate that you have thought critically about the global challenge that you have selected and that you have evaluated varying perspectives on your topic. Just a few possible project ideas include:

1) How do different cultural and religious groups handle challenges related to grief and bereavement? What does it mean to grieve well? (You could interview believers of various faith traditions, clergy, individuals from different cultural backgrounds, grief counselors, etc.)

2) How are changing demographic trends affecting our ability to meet older adults’ long-term care needs? (You could interview nursing home staff, physicians, family caregivers, older adults who receive care, etc.)

3) How will an aging population affect the job market and workplaces across the United States? (You could interview human resources staff, older workers, younger workers, retirees, and business managers.)

Part I: Background Research

1) To gain an academic perspective on our topic, your group will conduct a brief literature review and provide an overview of your findings during your presentation. I would suggest focusing on no more than three or four of the most pertinent aspects of the issue.

2) Make sure that you include some statistics on the extent of the challenge and who is affected by it.

3) Your group should consult at least five academic sources for your research. You may use assigned course readings, government reports, journal articles, etc. Sources must be cited and a bibliography included in any generally accepted format.

Part II: Interviews/Volunteer Work

1) In order to gain varying perspectives on your topic (personal, social, spiritual, etc.), your group must have some contact with people affected by your issue. You should aim to interact with at least three people who have firsthand experience with your topic.

2) Your group may interview individuals or engage in service work that brings you into contact with people affected by the issue. The whole group does not have to participate in each interaction, but everyone in the group must participate in at least one interview or volunteer experience.

Part III: Presentation

1) Your presentation should be 15-20 minutes in length.

2) It should include:

a. A brief overview of the major academic findings related to your topic.

b. An overview of the interview/service components of your project. (With whom did you interact, and what did you learn from them? How is your view of the challenge influenced by these varying perspectives?) Try to include some photos or videos; however, you need to get permission from anyone outside of your group whose image will be used in your presentation.

c. A creative component (an original song, poem, skit, documentary, piece of art, etc.) that demonstrates that you have thought critically about your topic and synthesized all that you have learned from various people and perspectives into a single artistic piece.

: Your group’s proposal should include:

1) The names of all group members

2) The main challenge that you will explore for your project and three or four subtopics that you plan to address

3) An initial plan for how you will attempt to interview or interact with individuals affected by your issue

4) What you are considering for the creative element of your project

Here is an example: We plan to explore the causes and consequences of increasing suicide rates in the United States. Through our research, we will find out how many people die by suicide each year and how survivors of suicide are affected emotionally and socially by this loss. All group members will attend a meeting of the Survivors of Suicide support group in Greenville, and three members will each interview one individual who has lost a loved one to suicide. We plan to create a mini-documentary that synthesizes what we have learned from our academic research and our group and individual interactions with those affected by suicide.

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