Sociology: Culture and Core Values

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Sociology: Culture and Core Values Unit II

Grade Level:




Prepared By:

L. Korpics 10/16/-10/19

Overview- To help students understand how dominant American values are reflected in, and reinforced by the mainstream media. To demonstrate the role of print media in shaping and diffusing social norms in mainstream American culture. To help students problematize hegemonic discourses as transmitted through material culture

Performance Standards Addressed. ASA: American Sociology Association Pre-College Board Prototype for AP Sociology Courses. NYU Sociology Curriculum

To understand, compare and analyze American Core Values with personal values and group expectations

Do Now:

Teacher Objectives

Student Guide

Write in Notes: In 1970 Robin Williams identified core American Values. They were:

Equal Opportunity

Achievement and Success

Material Comfort

Activity and Work

Practicality and Efficiency



Democracy and Enterprise

SWBAT: Identify and compare Latent and Manifest Functions. Describe the use of sociology in determining social stratification, and explain the differences between the Functionalist, Interactionist and Symbolic Perspectives.

: By critically engaging with elements of popular and mainstream culture, students will come to appreciate better the role of the mass media in the socialization process and to understand the regulative function of the values supporting contemporary capitalist societies.

Materials Needed

  • Pen

  • Notebook

  • Text:Sociology: HOLT.

Magazines (Teacher asks students to bring copies of magazines which feature their favorite celebrity to class).



List of Core American values for each student


(Give and/or demonstrate necessary information)

I do: Notes on Objectives, Inquiry
We do: Activities: Brainstorming latent and manifest functions. Activities: Symbolic body language activity

Readings: Durkheim: “Sick Theory”


Parsons: Interactionist Theory


(Steps to check for student understanding)

We Do: Analyze an issue using the three sociological perspectives at a test grade assignment. Students are asked to pick up a picture of their favorite celebrity.

• Does your favorite celebrity uphold similar values? Why or why not?

• What does this image of a celebrity tell us about how we should live our lives, how we should look and behave?

• Do you think you should strive to be like J.Lo (both in terms of looks and lifestyle)? Why or why not?

• Do you think you

Other Resources

Smart Board/Computer/Photos

Computer Lab: 10/16, and 10/19/11


Provide students with a list of core American values. Use Jennifer Lopez (“J.Lo”) to illustrate the values associated with achievement and success; activity and work etc.

They Do:


Why is J.Lo is so successful? What values does she uphold? (Achievement and success; hard-working; self-fulfilling; narcissistic; dating a handsome successful male (heterosexual); physically attractive, etc.).

should strive to be like your favorite celebrity?

Homework : Work on Sociology Project Sociological History of VCHS


NEXT STEP: Progress towards bringing sociological urban legends to an end, reevaluating ingrained belifs.

Assessment: Exit Quiz

Exit Quiz

Summary: PowerPoint


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