In this assessment, you apply the sociological perspective to the debate of same-sex marriage. 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.
Your task in this assessment is to 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 (same-sex marriage) 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.
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.
“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?”
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
Length: 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.