Lights, Camera, Action: Did They Really Get It in Sociology Through Film?

Submitted by Olga Tsoudis on

Sociology Through Film was piloted in Spring 2015 and then taught again in Spring 2016. Each week there are three assignments to sociologically analyze a film (see attached sample). The last assignment during finals week is to sociologically analyze a Disney children's movie by focusing on the 16 weeks of sociological analysis of film. This last assignment assesses whether the students understand the social issues, in addition to applying them to social change. The assessment will specifically focus on two questions in the writing assignment: (1) Describe the social nature of inequality and the types of inequality found in society through this film. Think about all of the topics we focused on throughout the semester. Think about race, gender, public and private worlds, social institutions, etc. and (2) Discuss social change that can occur from watching this film. Provide ideas about social change and discuss why this social change is appropriate based on what was shown in the film. Provide a detailed response with concrete examples about social change. Since this is a children's film, focus on children and how they are socialized through film. Please see attachments.

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Average: 4 (4 votes)


Peter Turner Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:21am

I like what you are doing, Olga. I think the topic is fascinating, and your application includes the concept of social change - the actualization of one of the main themes of the course. I look forward to seeing your results, and if you will continue with this format!

Heather Muns Mon, 09/15/2014 - 3:10pm

What a great class.  I too am interested to see if your students are able to clearly "get it" using this new format/medium.  

Olga Tsoudis Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:17pm

Thanks! I am looking forward to the pilot in the spring!

Erica Wager Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:07pm

This is great, Olga! I love that you have them take the perspective of a different age group so they can really analyze what children are learning about social interactions.

Peter Turner Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:41pm

So, your results justified the inclusion of the new assignment. Great job of closing the loop! I assume you will be using this in the future!

Roselyn Turner Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:43pm

Combining film with social sciences and humanities has been a classic technique for teaching at all levels. Students love audio-visual and the media.  By using this media, you are also motivating the students to be interested and engaged in the activity.  But, more than "for fun," your assignments are meaningful, on-task, and provide opportunities for critical thinking.  I predict that the students' awareness then extends beyond the classroom and they are able to apply what they learned and will continue to analyze the media they are exposed to.  As a Communication instructor, it is my hope that the students also share their learning with others to spread the awareness.  

Norma Jimenez Hernandez Fri, 04/29/2016 - 8:51pm

Great job, Olga!  I love that your assignments really make students think about what they're learning and applying it to their everyday experiences.