Gender Studies
September 7, 2019
Research Paper Writing
September 7, 2019


This is an assignment to help you think about the major issues of the course, at the beginning and the end of the semester. The assignment will help you clarify what you learned from this course, and how it relates to the service learning outcomes.

INSTRUCTIONS: Reflect on the following questions and record your verbal responses to them. You will NOT turn in the recording, but you will write a reflection paper about your experiences, using quotes from your own recording as “data.” At the end of the semester, you will answer the same set of questions, listen to both recordings and write a final reflection paper based on your analysis of both recordings. It is best to make the first recording using just what you know at this moment. No one else will listen to this recording, so be honest, thoughtful, and use it as an opportunity to explore your opinions.

METHOD: You may record your responses on your phone, your computer, a videotape or CD. Make sure you mark and keep the recording in a safe location, as you will use it again at the end of the semester. Again, DO NOT hand in the recording.


Self and Social Awareness
1. What is your definition of racism? Classism? Sexism? Heterosexism? How have these issues affected you in your life? How do institutional structures support and maintain these systems of oppression?

2. How do your privileged and marginalized identities impact how you relate to social justice concerns in your community/society and in your desired career path?

Service and Social Responsibility
3. Please rate your response to this question on a scale of 1-10 ( 1 = strongly disagree; 10 = strongly agree) and explain why you gave yourself this rating:
• I personally have a responsibility to contribute to greater societal well-being.
• Professionals in my chosen field have a responsibility to contribute to greater societal well-being.

4. What are the goals of “service?” From your perspective, what acts of “service” have the greatest impact? How are individual acts of charity related to efforts to bring about long-term social change? How can professionals in your field contribute to long-term social change?

Community & Social Justice
5. According to the U.S. Census, Native Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and African Americans have significantly higher rates of poverty (24.5%, 22.7%, 21.7%) than non-Hispanic whites and Asian Pacific Islanders (7.8%, 10.2%). What do you think are the root causes for these disparities? In your opinion, whose responsibility is it to address these disparities? What relationship do professionals in your field have to these disparities? How can professionals in your field work to address these disparities?

6. How can businesses address the issues of Community and Social Justice while still making a profit?

Multicultural Community Building/Civic Engagement
7. Please rate your response to this question on a scale of 1-10 ( 1 = strongly disagree; 10 = strongly agree) and explain why you gave yourself this rating:
• As a future professional in the Business field, I have the power to bring about change in the social conditions of my community, society, nation and world.

8. Are you personally involved in a movement to bring about social change? If not, why not? Do you think you will be personally involved in a movement to bring about social change in the future? Why or why not? Do you see yourself choosing to be engaged in building a more just and equitable society as a future professional in your field? Why or why not?

9. What do you think are the causes of business decisions that harm the environment and/or society? What are some ways to eliminate or drastically reduce these harmful business practices?

10. What is your reaction to the following statements? Talk about whether you agree or disagree with these statements and why.
• In the U.S. society today, almost anyone who works hard can be successful.
• Business will always damage society and/or the environment to some degree because profit is their priority and the money they make does more good than harm. It’s just the way things are and will always be.

Listen to your responses and write a thoughtful 3+ page paper on your reflections. Use quotes from the recording to clarify your points. I will NOT be evaluating these essays on the content of your opinions or ideas, but on the depth of reflection. Shallow reflection merely states an opinion without giving it substance or examples for clarification. Deeper reflection makes connections between the issues, raises questions, demonstrates thoughtfulness, and explicates contradictions. I am looking for much more than a report. I am looking for an examination of your relationship to these questions. If you have a particular opinion, speculate on why you think it is so and how your social group identities may impact your opinion. If you are unclear about an issue, or know that you do not have enough information to formulate a thoughtful opinion, speculate on what you would need to formulate an informed opinion.

Feel free to be creative with the format of this paper. You may write it as a letter to yourself, to your best friend, or to your family. It may be a letter to a community member, a niece or nephew, or to someone you will work with in the community. Make sure that your paper is broken up into sections that correspond to each question. Make sure you answer all seven questions.

1. Think about the whole experience of making this recording. What were the most important insights you gained? What questions intrigue you the most?

2. Describe your experience of making this recording. Did you go beneath the surface or stay on the surface? Do you feel you were honest in making this recording? Did you make any discoveries? Were you uncomfortable with some topics? If so, which ones? Did your thoughts flow, or were you tentative? Why do you think this was so?

3. Which of the questions was the most difficult to answer and why?

4. Give an example of how your social group identities (race, class, ethnicity, gender, language, nationality, ability, age, etc.) may impact your opinions and your relationship to “service.”

5. Which issues do you feel you know the most about? The least? Why do you think this is?

6. Which opinions that you have are you least likely to change? Most likely to change? Why?

7. Generate some questions that you would like to explore as a result of making this recording.

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