Final Paper Assignment: COMM 102 Conflict in Marginalized Populations: (Points Possible: 150. Paper: 125, Presentation 25)
1. In this exercise, students will select a population that has historically been marginalized socially, politically, and/or economically, and research the conflicts that members of that population are likely to experience as a result of belonging to that population. The exercise will be done individually.
2. The nature of marginalization is that when people feel suppressed or disenfranchised within a given society, they are likely to experience conflicts that may not be common among those in non-marginalized groups. For instance, a homeless person may be more likely than one with a home to have conflict with others over space, territory, privacy, and/or safety. A gay or lesbian couple may be more likely than a heterosexual married couple to experience conflicts regarding the legitimacy of their relationship or the forms of social support they receive (or don’t receive) from their families. In other words, marginalization makes certain issues more relevant (and potentially problematic).
3. Select one population to focus on. Research the issues that are particularly relevant (if not unique) to that population that might give rise to conflicts that are less likely to be experienced by those outside of that group. Identify the conflicts, and then examine how the people in the population address the conflicts.
4. You may use a variety of data-gathering methods in your research.
5. These might include: interviewing people from their identified population, searching for news stories about that population (particularly those involving conflicts), talking to professionals who routinely work with and support people from that population, searching the academic literature, and looking for information online. No one source of information will be sufficient, so students need to use a diversity of forms (a minimum of 3).
6. The product of the activity will be a paper which you will present to the class.
7. If you interviewed people as part of the data collection you may use pseudonyms and mask any sensitive or identifying information in the presentations of the findings, to preserve the confidentiality of the interviewees.
Suggested populations: (You may use one not on this list, just run it by me first)
Homeless Single Parents Sexual minorities
Elderly Veterans Immigrants
Mentally ill Disabled persons Teen Mothers/dads
Racial or ethnic minorities Educationally disadvantaged (no high school diploma, etc)
The paper is to be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 pages in length, double spaced, size 12 font and be mechanically sound. It should have a clear introduction, body and conclusion. There should be a proper internal citation format and contain a Works Cited page using MLA or APA format.
Presentation Criteria: The information you will be presenting to the class is this:
1. Identify the chosen population.
2. Identify and discuss the research methods you used for your paper.
3. Identify the specific conflicts unique to that population you discussed in the paper.
4. Briefly discuss specific courses of action the marginalized person/people take to overcome the conflicts they face.
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