Explore the process of moral entrepreneurship.

Term Paper

The assigned paper is due on April 8. In this paper, you will explore one of the following topics. If you wish, you may propose a different topic. In that case, you must present your topic idea to me, in writing, no less than one month before the paper is due (March 5). A paper on an unapproved topic will be summarily rejected. The paper should be 5 pages (double-spaced, one-inch margins).

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● Explore the process of moral entrepreneurship. Explain how the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)* can be considered to be moral entrepreneurs and how they were successful in defining the act of drunk driving as deviant. (* You may choose some other group if you wish, as long as you can demonstrate how they are moral entrepreneurs and how they altered the definition of deviant behaviour.)

● In the 1980s, America experienced a moral panic about Satanism and Satanic Ritual Abuse. Explore how this panic unfolded and discuss its effects on public policy. (Alternatively, you may do the same thing using the moral panic about sex offenders that began in the 1990s.)

● What are “appearance norms”? How does our culture define what is normal, attractive, or ugly? How do we let people know where they stand in terms of attractiveness? How have our culture’s definitions of acceptable appearance changed over time and how do these definitions affect social behaviour?

● Explain the concept of rape culture and rape myths. Explore the ways in which rape myths and rape culture are perpetuated in the media or on the Internet.

● Explore the power of norms. Conduct an experiment where you identify and break a social norm (Keep it legal!). Describe how you felt and document the reactions of those around you. In what ways (subtle or overt) did they let you know that your behaviour was wrong and how did they try to “correct” it?

● When discussing domestic abuse and violence, people often wonder why the abused person stays in the relationship. Why is it so difficult for someone to simply leave an abusive relationship? Why do people stay?

● Examine the issue of assisted suicide. Discuss the arguments of those in favour of the “right to die” and those who are opposed. What is the state of public policy on this issue?

● As of January 2020, eleven states have made the controlled use of marijuana for recreational purposes legal. Examine the pro and con arguments made by marijuana legalization supporters and opponents. What empirical support (if any) do these arguments have? Should legalization efforts extend to other, currently banned, drugs?

● What does it mean to be transgender? How has our culture traditionally felt about transgendered men and women? Examine the ways in which attitudes about transgenderism are changing.

● Not very long ago in our culture, tattoos were considered to be quite deviant. Now, for many, they are considered to be commonplace and unremarkable. What changed? Examine the changing social norms and attitudes regarding tattoos. Have they become a mark of conformity rather than deviance?

Lazy research is obvious and leads to mediocre papers and mediocre grades. I don’t insist on a specific number or type of sources, but there should be more than one and they shouldn’t all just be the first 5 things that come up on a Google search. They should also include a mix of source types (i.e. journal articles, books, periodicals, web pages). Do not limit yourself to web pages alone. Reliance on a single source or use of web pages only will result in a lowered grade. (Please note: Wikipedia is never an acceptable source. Stay away from Wikipedia. Any paper that cites Wikipedia will be returned for a re-write.) Demonstrate a little effort.

You are expected to use proper APA citation style. (Online APA style guides are available through the library’s web page, and I am not opposed to the use of the “Citation Machine” website.) Paper grades are based on mechanics as well as the content. I will grade down for incorrect citation and reference style as well as poor spelling, grammar, formatting, and organization. Your paper grade will be primarily based on how well I feel you demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topic.

I check for plagiarism. Plagiarism involves using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgement. Plagiarism includes direct copying of material as well as non-cited paraphrasing. Changing a few words from the original does not make it yours. I expect you to cite all outside sources appropriately (using APA style). Plagiarism will result in a failing grade and I will report it to the College’s administration for appropriate disciplinary action. If you are unsure whether something needs to be cited or how it should be cited, check with me.

I do not accept late papers. If you are not present in class on the day a paper is due, you must make alternative arrangements to ensure that I receive it. It is your responsibility to make sure I receive your paper. If you make alternate arrangements for paper submission, I suggest that you email me to make sure that I got it.

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