Create a public information product of your choice that is based on data related to a diversity issue. Your product should be at least 1,500 written words, or 10-15-minutes in length if spoken.
Often, discrimination is discussed as a primarily individual phenomenon—one-on-one actions in which one person discriminates against another. But as you have learned through your studies and research, some discrimination occurs at the institutional level, despite laws and policies that have been created to reduce or eliminate structural racism.
In this assessment, you examine how different experiences for minority groups may reflect a dominant culture that practices systemic discrimination in treatment or access to valued resources. You will examine the extent to which institutional discrimination occurs within a specific institution, such as the criminal justice system or the health care system. A key part of this assessment is incorporating data to support your analysis, something that is also integral to the work that sociologists do. You will also reflect upon and discuss feasible strategies for addressing the institutional inequality uncovered during your research.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
Create a public information piece that conveys a central tenet regarding institutional inequality.
Competency 3: Analyze the effects of social policy using aggregated data.
Analyze data to make valid sociological inferences.
Competency 4: Analyze how laws are applied or created based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and social class.
Describe factors contributing to racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system.
Assess the impact that institutional discrimination within the justice system has had on minorities and minority communities.
Explain ways in which public policies are linked to racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system.
Describe policy strategies for reducing institutional discrimination.
Competency 6: Communicate effectively.
Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage, and mechanics.
This assessment asks you to demonstrate a deep understanding of institutional discrimination through both research and data analysis.
For the purposes of this assessment, you will assume that you are a consultant working for a bipartisan think tank studying one major institution: the criminal justice system, the health care system, the education system, the workplace, or the housing market. In particular, you have been asked to research and analyze the prevalence and persistence of institutionalized discrimination that is based on race and ethnicity. You will explore both the causes and consequences of institutionalized discrimination, from the perspective of the individuals it directly affects, the institution you have chosen, and society as a whole.
It is your job to create a public information piece that highlights your findings regarding racial and ethnic inequities within your chosen institution. You will need to support your conclusions with credible data and scholarly research, rather than relying on opinion, and demonstrate your ability to apply sociological thinking to your topic.
The first step to prepare for this assessment is to research the topic of institutional discrimination in a specific institution, locating reliable, scholarly sources. Some suggested sources can be found in the Resources for this assessment.
Using scholarly research and data, support and communicate the position of a bipartisan think tank group by creating a public information product. The final product should convey the extent to which institutional policies and practices—in the justice system, in the education system, in health care, in the workplace, or in the housing market—disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities. Choose from one of the following public information pieces:
Information booklet targeted to the general public.
Position paper or brief targeted at state or federal legislators.
Mock web site or blog.
Public service announcement (a script for a radio or television program).
PowerPoint presentation targeted to a specific audience, with a description of the audience and detailed speaker’s notes.
A recorded speech to be given at a national meeting of practitioners who work in the institution you are researching. If you choose this option, include your speaker’s notes or script and references in a Word document along with your audio file.
The final, professional-quality product should accomplish the following:
Convey the causes and consequences of the problem of institutional discrimination in one of society’s major institutions.
Use formatting and design principles that are appropriate for your chosen product.
Include graphics—such as photos, charts, graphs, and figures—to enhance the presentation when appropriate.
Support your conclusions with data and scholarly research.
Describe and analyze data on racial and ethnic disparities in the chosen institution.
Keep in mind that to be accurate in your assessment, you will need to look at raw data and percentages as well as to consider the data in relation to each racial or ethnic group’s percentage within the overall U.S. population.
Discuss the extent to which policies at the local, state, and/or federal level have contributed to racial and ethnic disparities.
Consider any historical or contemporary influences that may have contributed the disparities you have identified.
As an example, if you are studying institutional discrimination in the justice system, you would need to consider national policies such as the War on Drugs as well as law enforcement policies.
Assess the impact these disparities, along with institutional discrimination within your chosen institution more broadly, have had on racial and ethnic minorities and minority communities.
Present at least two potential solutions or strategies to combat the problems identified in your analysis.
These can be community-based, legislative (at the local, state, or federal level), or law-enforcement strategies.
These strategies should be focused on reducing institutional discrimination within the institution itself.
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
Length: The completed public information piece should contain at least 1,500 words. If you choose to record a speech, it should be a 10- to 15-minute speech.
Format: Cite your sources in current APA style and format, including a reference list at the end of your document or presentation along with in-text citations of your sources.
Sources: Cite at least one of the data sources provided in the Resources. Three additional scholarly sources are required.