In this assignment, you are going to collect some data on yourself by doing a time use analysis. You will keep track of how you spend your time for one full day. A “full day” means from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. I am going to ask that you keep track of what you did for each 30 minute block of time throughout the day, but you are welcome to keep track of more frequent blocks if you like. This will require that you really pay attention to what you are doing for one day. It may be helpful to set an alarm to ring every 30 minutes, or create some type of reminder. You want to keep track of how much time you spend doing different things, such as school work, preparing/eating food, leisure time, etc.
Develop a coherent and thoughtful sociological analysis. Your reflection paper should be well organized, clearly written, and demonstrate a strong understanding of the concepts that were discussed throughout the course.
Writing a reflection paper is not a free-flowing journal entry or a description. Instead, you are intentionally connecting your ideas to the sociological concepts discussed in the course content. You need to demonstrate your understanding of the concepts and your ability to use the concepts to do a sociological analysis.
“Critical” does not mean “bad.” To be “critical” means to provide a close and careful analysis of the issues and ideas, to look beyond the obvious and surface ideas and think about alternative interpretations or perspectives. The sociological concepts and theory are the tools you can use to do this type of analysis.
“A” level papers are those that go above and beyond what is “correct” and demonstrate a sophisticated and nuanced analysis of their experiences in relation to these concepts.
You will then need to determine how much of your day (as a percentage) is spent in each activity. To calculate your time use in each category as a percentage of your total day, you may find it helpful to create a spreadsheet like this spreadsheet. (If you want, you can copy and paste the spreadsheet, but make sure you also copy and paste the equations within cells C4 to C14.) Just enter the total number of minutes you are aware in the B2 cell, and then enter the number of minutes of each activity into the B column. The C column should populate with the percentage.) You are welcome to adjust the categories as needed too.
For example, if you are awake for 1000 minutes in a day, and you spend 300 of those doing schoolwork, then you spent 30% of your time doing schoolwork.
Use this data as the basis for your assignment, as you will write a sociological analysis of how you spend your time.
Your assignment should begin by very briefly summarizing the results of your time use. This should be very short (100 words or less), providing only relevant information that will offer sufficient context for the reader. You might consider grouping some of the categories together by theme to allow you to offer a more concise description.
In what remains of the paper (600-700 words), you must provide a sociological reflection of how you spend your time. You must demonstrate your ability to offer a critical sociological analysis by incorporating concepts and theories taught throughout the course. You should also incorporate one academic source (which is sociological**), sourced from an academic journal. This source should be incorporated into your analysis.
Here are some questions to help you think about this:
To what extent are you engaging in practices of social reproduction?
How is your time use conditioned by the organization of social institutions such as education, work, religion?
How is your time use conditioned by your gender identity, ability, age, social class, racialization, and other identities?
How do you feel about your time use, and how can you offer a sociological perspective of those feelings? (For example, perhaps you think about social media as “wasting time” but a sociologist might question what it means for time to be “productive” – how might this reflect a particular value system?)
Papers must be 700-800 words in length. Papers that are under or over the word count may be penalized at the discretion of the instructor or grader.
This paper should be typed and double-spaced, using standard margins.
The font should be 12 point font.
You do not need to provide any graphics. You do not need to provide the data that you used for your assignment. (The only indication of the data should be in the summary that you provide within the body of the paper.)
Referencing must be provided in proper APA format.
You may write in the first person.
Your paper is a critical reflection paper: it must be organized and have a clear structure.
Some additional information
**Sociological sources may be from sociology journals. You may also find relevant research from related disciplines, including journals on topics relating to Indigenous studies, Blackness and Black diasporic studies, race and racialization, gender studies, women’s studies, disability studies, sexuality and LGBTQ2+ studies, and others. Generally, you will not find relevant sources from articles in psychology, economics, business, or medical science journals.
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