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How to Write Reflection Papers

Pick a Key Concept and Define it in Context

For reflection papers, you will pick a key concept from the module(s) and a) define and explain it drawing on the material, b) use it as an entry point for a critical reflection on the theoretical and/or methodological approach discussed in the module, and c) illustrate it using/drawing on an example such as personal experience, general knowledge or observations, visual materials (movies, TV shows, documentaries, commercials, video clips, etc.), news articles, contemporary events, etc.

Please see below for more information. There will be a total of 5 reflection papers (each worth 10 points) out of which best 4 will be counted, making 40% of your final grade (each worth 10%).

First, pick a key concept (most concepts could be key, but you will make a choice and choose a concept that you find most interesting and engaging and that you think is key for you to understand that theory). Then define the concept you will discuss in your paper according to the theory in point—remember that this will be your entry point to the discussion.

After defining the concept briefly discuss why this concept is central to the theory you are referring to (why/how is the concept significant for the theory; you can bring in other concepts without elaborating on them, showing the connections, etc. if you like).

In the last part of your paper, apply your concept to an example and/or illustrate/elaborate your discussion with an example (a visual and/or written material such as an ad, a news article, a TV show, etc.). The length of each reflection paper is expected to be around 500-600 words (approximately 2 pages, double spaced). Note that the grasp, and application, of concepts are fundamental to this assignment. Last but not least, make sure that you cite everything you use and draw on.

Citation style should be in APA format. I am not picky with what key concept you want to use for this assignment. I will provide you with the key concepts, lecture material, and any readings we used in the class.

For Weber, sociology is the interpretive understanding of subjectively meaningful and purposeful social action (engaged in by human beings and groups) in its historical and cultural context. Thus, Verstehen is central to Weber’s sociological method (i.e., the sociologist’s main task is to engage in the processes by which they seek interpretive understanding of the subjective meanings that individuals and collectivities give to their behaviors).

Weber’s interpretive perspective on modern society emphasizes the development of a rationalized worldview or stance, which he referred to as the disenchantment of the world. The theory of rationalization seeks to explain the change in the Western society from a traditional “mystic” society to a world based on reason and practicality Weber argued that although the process of rationalization leads to efficiency and precise, effective, calculated decision making, it is in the end an irrational system as it often undermines the substantial human values it was designed to serve (i.e., the aspirations of the good life, moral and ethical values, the integrity of human relationships, the enjoyment of beauty and  relaxation) (see iron cage).

Weber analyzed the relation between ideas and economic structures and modern capitalist culture

in his study of the Protestant/Calvinist ethic.

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