In this project, you will play the part of a sociologist who has been requested by your national community to craft a letter of intent to the potential funder, the Department of Health and Human Services. The project will be divided into two parts. In the first part, you will prepare to write the letter of intent by conducting research on the social problem and thinking about how to limit your personal biases when later analyzing the social issue. In the second part of the project, the letter of intent, you will analyze the problem from a sociological perspective, outlining the influential variables and the local and global impacts of the problem, and finally suggest a potential solution.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

I. Introduction: Explain the contemporary social problem that you selected, and explain why you chose this specific social problem.

II. Research: In order to further understand the social problem, you will conduct some research on its influences, impacts, and attempted solutions.

A. Identify social variables and determinants that have influenced the development of the social problem and explain their influence. Support your explanations with resources.

B. Explain how the social variables and determinants influencing the development of the social problem vary depending on whether the social problem is local or global. In other words, are the previously identified social variables and determinants influencing the social problem the same or different as the social variables and determinants influencing the social problem in another country? Provide specific examples.

C. Describe attempted solutions to the identified social problem that failed, and explain why the attempted solutions might have been unsuccessful, supporting with resources.

D. Describe the attempted solutions that were successful in addressing the identified social problem, or a similar social problem, and identify best practices based on these successful solutions. Be sure to support with resources.

III. Approach: In this section, you will sift through your personal biases, with the aim of limiting such biases in your later analysis.

A. Describe how people generally tend to talk about this social problem and how these approaches are problematic, supporting with resources. What stereotypes, biases, and assumptions are at play?

B. Reflect on your own biases and assumptions around the issue and how these may affect your analysis of the issue. Everyone has certain preconceived notions about social issues. What are yours, and how might they influence your analysis?

C. Explain how you will use sociological theory to limit your biases when you analyze the social problem. How can the theory help you limit your biases? Provide a specific example.

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