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Engineering LibreTexts

12.17.3: Participating in Online Discussions

  • Page ID
    69423
  • Many college courses provide students with opportunities to exchange ideas with their peers and professors in online forums. If you are required to participate in online discussions, make sure your posts are civil, thoughtful, and well-edited.

    The student exchange on the next page comes from an online sociology course. The students were asked to define sociological concepts. In addition, students were required to refer to the textbook to support their points.

    You’ll notice the students included references for their textbook. Usually references have a hanging indent. Because this was posted in a Moodle discussion board, however, hanging indents were not required. Otherwise, APA citations are correct.

    Exercise/Discussion:

    1. Where do these students use specific examples to support their ideas?
    2. Is there evidence that these students have learned anything from this reading assignment?
    3. How do these writers exhibit civility or promote further discussion?
    4. In what ways do these students personalize the course material?
    5. How is this discussion different from forums in which you’ve participated?

    Sociology Concepts

    By Jennifer L.—Wednesday, 15 February 2017, 1:26 PM

    I chose to explain social construction, microsociology, and the sociological imagination for this assignment. These terms were all new to me. I find them interesting and think they are important to understanding sociology.

    Social construction is “an idea or practice that a group of people agree exists. It is maintained over time by people taking its existence for granted” (Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, & Carr, 2016, p. 7). Many people believe that the ideas we accept are natural truths. However, according to Giddens et al. (2016), sociology teaches us that “in many ways we are freer than we think” (p. 7). Sociology points out that many behaviors thought of as biological, are actually a result of social construction (Giddens et al., 2016).

    According to Introduction to Sociolog , microsociology focuses on everyday behavior during small group or individual interactions, whereas macrosociology analyzes patterns in large-scale groups, organizations, or social systems (Giddens et al., 2016). A macrosociologist and a microsociologist would analyze different settings, e.g. a food court, differently.

    The textbook, Introduction to Sociology , discusses the work of C. Wright Mills, who stated in The Sociological Imagination , that “each of us lives in a very small orbit,” limited by the social situations of our daily encounters (as cited in Giddens et al., 2016, p. 5).

    Reference

    Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Appelbaum, R. P., & Carr, D. (2016). Introduction to sociology (10th ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

    Re: Sociology Concepts

    By Steven R. – Thursday, 16 February 2017, 4:15 PM

    Your explanation helped me understand these concepts better, Jennifer. I also wrote about the sociological imagination. I had not thought about this whole idea before taking this class and find it interesting. Sociologists believe that we can understand problems like poverty, unemployment, and money troubles by looking at the social structure in our society. If we develop a sociological understanding, we stop looking at these types of troubles as simply personal, and instead start to understand them as larger, public issues, perhaps resulting from policies, and applying to many people in society (Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum, & Carr, 2016).

    Reference

    Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Appelbaum, R. P., & Carr, D. (2016). Introduction to sociology (10th ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.