Sociology is interested in better understanding the social contexts of our social lives. Much of what we
experience in life is impacted by the culture in which we live. The ways of life found around the world differ, not
only in forms of dress, preferred foods, and musical tastes, but also in family patterns and beliefs about right
and wrong. These differences can be attributed to culture—our collective beliefs, values, and objects. While we
oftentimes see names as a reflection of who we are as individuals, they are the product of larger social forces.
Using your sociological imagination, you can reflect on your name and how it is impacted by culture.
Note: Many resources will be coming from The Society Pages blog. While it is good to question the validity of
most blogs, The Society Pages contains blog posts from experts in the field of sociology and thus have higher
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course
competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 4: Analyze the influence of culture on both the individual and society.
Describe how your name is shaped by the social world around you.
Examine the role of culture in naming.
Competency 5: Analyze the impact of social change on society and social institutions.
Discuss the influence of social change regarding how we understand names.
Competency 6: Compose text that articulates meaning relevant to its purpose and audience.
Develop text using organization, structure, and transitions that demonstrate understanding of cohesion
between main and subtopics.
This assessment requires you to do some research on your name. How popular was your name when you
were born? What does your name mean? Based on what you learned from your research, discuss your own
name. How is something as simple as a name shaped by the social world around us? How has your name
been impacted by time period, culture, your gender, et cetera? How might your name be different if you had
been born one hundred years earlier? Why?
Write an essay in which you complete all of the following:
Part 1 – Discuss your name.
What is your name?
Describe where your name comes from.
Discuss the origins of your name (if it is known).
Research the popularity of your name. Discuss other information you find regarding your name.
Part 2 – Examine your name from a sociological perspective.
Describe how your name has been impacted by time period, culture, gender, et cetera.
Identify other aspects of the social world that may be related to naming.
Part 3 – Reflect on your name.
Based on your research and sociological analysis of you name, share your thoughts or perspective on your
name or names in general.
Written communication: Develop text using organization, structure, and transitions that demonstrate
understanding of cohesion between main and subtopics. Written communication needs to be free of errors that
detract from the overall message.
Sources: Cite at least two scholarly sources.
Length: 2-3 pages, not including title and reference pages.
Format: Include a title page and reference page. Use in-text citations to cite your sources. [Example: Writing
becomes better as the child matures (Britton, Thomas, & Miller, 1996).]
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