soc 205

Your assignment is to develop an 8-10 PowerPoint Slide Show that examines diversity in your hometown. Title slide must include your name and course name.

PowerPoint must be submitted via Canvas by Sunday, November 15, 11:59pm EST. PowerPoint must be uploaded to Canvas. I will not accept your PowerPoint sent as an email message or if sent to my work email.

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Papers that are emailed, rather than submitted through Canvas will not be accepted and will receive a “0”. Five points will be deducted for each day that a paper is late.

View Diversity Research Grading Rubric in Assignment Rubrics for expectations on Canvas.

Assignment Overview and Instructions

People often have a sense about what the diversity of their hometown neighborhood is. Since you grew up there, you feel as if you know something about the other people who live there. But your perception may not always reflect the actual demographics of that town or city. In this assignment, you will test your knowledge about your hometown by researching both current and historical demographics of the area.

Step 1

Begin by writing down your own assumptions about your hometown. If you moved around a lot, pick the one location where you lived for the longest period of time, or simply pick the location of your current school. What do you think is the racial and ethnic background of the area? Do you think most people graduated high school? Is there a large military presence in the area? Do you think there is an aging population? What would you expect to find about the status of women in terms of schooling, jobs, and income?

Step 2

Next, visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website to find out some basic demographics of your area (www.census.gov (Links to an external site.)). There are several ways to search this type of information, but an easy way to get some quick facts is to go to the “Data” heading, then click on the “American FactFinder” link, which provides data from the Economic Census, the American Community Survey, and the 2010 Census, among others. Put in the city and state, or zip code, to get basic facts about your community, or conduct more advanced searches if you are interested in other topics. (Keep in mind the most recent data available for most locations will be 2010 for Census Data and 2012 for the American Community Survey.) This will give you some basic background information about age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, and education of the population.

Step 3

Now look into the history of your hometown. The best way to start this is to visit your local library. Libraries often carry historical documents about the local area, including books, photos, and other archival materials. (Many towns also have local museums that you could visit.) If you library is not open due to Covid-19, check the library website or the Internet (make sure it is a credible site). Learn what you can about the area. Did it used to be an old farming village before a big corpora­tion came to town? Was it known for its large Irish immigrant population? What year did the first church or synagogue open? When did the schools finally decide to racially integrate?

Step 4

Next, find someone who has lived in the area for a long time to tell you about living in this community. Ideally, you should find someone who has lived in your hometown for more than 40 years. (This won’t be as difficult as you might think. Ask your local librarian for a suggestion, contact a senior center, or consider asking a neighbor who you think may have lived in the town for a while.) Tell this person you are researching diversity in your hometown for a class and ask if he/she is willing to be interviewed. Due to Covid-19 you may need to conduct your meeting via phone, Zoom, or other virtual platform of your choice.

Step 5

Conduct an informal interview with your local participant. Begin your interview by asking some basic questions. When did he/she move to the area? What does he/she like best about the town? Then, use the knowledge you have discovered from your research to develop some additional interview questions about some aspect of diversity you found particularly inter­esting. What have been his/her experiences with diversity over the years? How does he/she think the area has changed? Due to Covid-19 you may need to conduct your meeting via phone, Zoom, or other virtual platform of your choice.

Step 6

Compare and contrast the data you found about changing demographics in the area with perceptions about diversity that you and your interviewee had. Were your own assumptions about your hometown accurate? What assumptions did your interviewee have about the area? Did they match what you found? What was the most significant thing you learned about diversity in your hometown?

Step 8

Use PowerPoint to report your findings (Step 1 – Step 6). View Diversity Research Grading Rubric in Assignment Rubrics for expectations on Canvas

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