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Sociological Concepts- Field Analysis

Sociological Concepts- Field Analysis

Descriptive Observation and Field Log

5:30 am: Wake up, pray, read the Bible, meditate, and interact with my wife.

6:00 am: Run, take a bath, have breakfast with my wife and child, and prepare the baby for school.

8:00 am: Arrive at the hospital, interact with the receptionist, and proceed to the psychiatrist department to interact with patients and other colleagues.

9:00 am: Hold a short meeting with colleagues and the supervisor. The issue of reduced productivity is raised.

9:30 am: Interact with the first patient. The patient is with her spouse, and I help them deal with a conflict they are experiencing, which majorly revolves around chores and gender roles in the family.

11:00 am: Take a coffee break and interact with the staff in the kitchen and other colleagues.

11:30 am: Interact with the second patient who needs a referral for shelter and psychiatrist help as he is homeless and suffers from psychological problems.

1:00 pm: I go for lunch with my wife to make up for forgetting our anniversary due to my busy schedule.

2:00 pm: Interact with the last client of the day who has problems relating to his parents as they seem not to “understand” him. The client verbally abused me when I tried to suggest ways that he could relate to his parents, and I had to control my anger as expected.

4:30 pm: Go for a meeting with a business partner to discuss business progress and strategy.

5:15 pm: Go for a Bible study at a church member’s house.

6:00 pm: Take a walk in the park, hit the gym, and head back home to help prepare dinner and do the dishes.

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Discussion of Social Norms

Social norms offer individuals certain expected ideas on how they are supposed to behave and act to facilitate order in society. This shapes how people do things as they conform to such norms. However, these norms can also restrict individuals from pursuing interests outside the norms. For instance, a man might feel the need to stay at home and take care of the children, but stay-at-home dads are often frowned upon in society as men are expected to be breadwinners.

My wife once complained of having to bear more household responsibilities even though we share most of the bills. Consequently, I decided to alter my behavior, and since then, I have strived to help out more in the house, regardless of my busy schedule. As a man, I do not strictly conform to the traditional gender roles, as evidenced by my helping out in preparing dinner, doing the dishes, and preparing the baby for school.

I am a man with one wife and one child, which constitutes a nuclear family. Even though I refer to my partner as a wife, she and I are not officially married. Cohabiting has become more common in the US, challenging the normal nuclear family. I cohabit with my wife because it saves us money, and with our child, it is easier to parent that way.

Religion also plays a key role in my life, and I attend most of the weekly religious meetings. These meetings help me lessen the negative reaction to my daily stressors and also help me get closer to God and my friends at Church.

Lastly, my work as a social worker at the hospital requires me to manage my emotions since I interact with various clients who portray varying emotional needs. Therefore, emotional regulation is key to building a strong relationship with clients. I had to regulate my emotions when a client verbally abused me as my job requires this form of regulation, a concept known as emotional labor.

Analysis of Sociological Concepts

The US has seen a drastic change in gender roles over time. Unlike in the past, when women were expected to engage in house chores and take care of children while men worked outside the house and were the sole breadwinners, more women in the workforce and two-income families are now common (Lumen, 2020). This means that gender roles are not as clearly defined as they were before, hence eliminating certain gender stereotypes as partners tend to agree on the division of labor in the family. However, Lumen (2020) notes that women continue to bear the majority of the house chores regardless of these changes in gender roles.

Griffiths (2017) claims that cohabitation has become more acceptable in the current society, and a 13 percent increment has been observed, reflecting a reduction in social stigma linked to cohabitation. Cohabitation is considered a “trial run” for marriage by most couples, and Griffiths (2017) claims that the majority cohabit to cut down on living costs or spend more time with their partners. Cohabitation is arguably a key part of today’s normal romantic relationship development: dating and courtship followed by cohabitation, then engagement, and eventually marriage (Payne, 2018).


As a man, I feel that my role is to take care of my family. As an employee, I am expected to give my best to my patients, and an improvement in their welfare makes me feel that I have succeeded at my work. I help my patients with various issues they face and have successfully helped some who are homeless to get a place to stay and even get employment through the referral agencies that I send them to. In this manner, I have changed their lives, and they have also changed mine as they have helped me become more compassionate and understanding in my interactions with people. I do not judge people as easily as I used to before.


Griffiths, H.N. (2017). Introduction to Sociology 2e. Rice University.

Lumen. (2020). Introduction to Sociology.

Payne, W. (2018). Human Behavior and the Social Environment II. University of Arkansas Libraries.


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The purpose of this assignment is to recognize sociological concepts at play in your lived experience. Keeping a field log of your social and institutional experiences for one day, you will critically discuss how your daily life is shaped and constrained by society. This will allow you to engage with many of the sociological concepts learned in class. A presentation that offers additional assistance in completing the assignment is available at Field Analysis.

Sociological Concepts- Field Analysis

Sociological Concepts- Field Analysis


1) Observation

Create a field log (example). For one day, observe and record the key interactions and institutions in your lived experience. Starting with waking up, who is the first person you talk to? What do you do next- take family members to school, go to the gym, go to work, and interact with coworkers? Throughout the day, you will take on different roles by interacting with different people and in different situations and be in contact with different social institutions (education, government, health, etc). Type or photograph your field log and submit it with your written Assignment.

2) Application

Try to wait one or more days before starting this step. Revisit your field log and apply sociological analysis to your observations.

Describe how our day is shaped and constrained by social norms.
Analyze how at least four sociological concepts learned in class (eg. roles, institutions, interactions, impression management, stage theory, emotional labor) apply to your field log observations. This part of the paper should not be focused on the general social norms you described earlier, dig in with specific concepts in this from our text (refrain from using dictionaries).
For at least two of the concepts, find and incorporate an appropriate source that highlights how sociologists study this concept in everyday society (for example, emotional labor in the restaurant industry). For example, we discussed gender socialization:
In an article by Crespi (2011) that studied gender socialization and gender roles within the family, results showed that a cross-gender relationship between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons has emerged as significant in determining traditional and non-traditional gender attitudes. The research suggested that the relationship with the parent of the opposite sex could be a strong factor in reducing stereotyped attitudes regarding gender roles (Crespi, 2011). *Use a different example in your paper, the purpose here is to show your research skills rather than repeat my research skills.*
3) Reflection

Reflect on your role as a larger part of society (i.e. your motives, instincts, feelings, and/or structural constraints). Discuss ways other people affected you and the ways you affected others in the social experiences of your day.

Sample Field Log

Below is a brief field log to give you an idea of the social interactions and institutions you might look for in your day. With the observations are sample course concepts that relate to the observations. Be creative in exploring and applying concepts- we will all apply concepts differently even if the scenes we observe are very similar.

5:45am: Wake up, interact with children.

Gender roles, nuclear family, folkways

6:30am: Interact with spouse and children. Eat breakfast, run, shower.

8:00am: Arrive at airport, check in interaction with airline customer service; interaction with TSA.

Social structure, bureaucracy, norms, mores, social control

9:00am: Wait with other passengers to board flight; purchase a drink at coffee shop; employees have a tip jar; a family sitting close by is watching the news and commenting on what they think is wrong with other cultures.

Emotional labor, ethnocentrism, Piaget’s stages of development

9:30am: On flight with family having a difficult time with small children; flight attendant offers to help them.

Emotional labor, gender roles, family

12pm: Arrive at destination airport; drive two hours to see extended family. Along the road there are farmers with fruit stands. See homeless person asking for assistance in exchange for work.

Poverty, inequality

4pm: Extended family arrives for potluck dinner; look at family photos together and share family memories. Watch evening news- local robbery and assault.


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