Comparing Politics, Law, Policy, and Power

Assessment 5
Comparing Politics, Law, Policy, and Power
Overview
Write a 68-page essay comparing two U.S. states’ approaches to issues of or immigration policy.
Note: You must complete Assessment 4 before beginning this one.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course
competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
Discuss contrasts in how states approach a diversity issue, using theoretical ideas of power.
Competency 2: Identify historical and contemporary influences of discrimination in U.S. culture.
Discuss law, policy, or politics in states with varying approaches to a diversity issue.
Competency 3: Analyze the effects of social policy using aggregated data.
Analyze data to project how state policies might affect population migration.
Competency 4: Analyze how laws are applied or created based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual
orientation, age, and social class.
Discuss contrasts between two states in areas of law, politics, or policy as they apply to a diversity issue.
Competency 5: Apply diversity strategies in professional, educational, and personal contexts.
Apply historical solutions to an issue where there are discrepancies between state and federal diversity
law.
Competency 6: Communicate effectively.
Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage,
and mechanics.
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Context
How can sociological research help us understand how laws and policies are made and how they change over time?
How might we use the sociological perspective to develop more effective solutions to political and social issues or
create policies that are effective and based on sound research? These are questions to consider as you explore the
connection between political and economic power and legislative decision making.
Sociologists studying cultural diversity are also very much interested in how our beliefs about diversity are reflected in
the law-making and policy-making process, including laws and policies that pertain to immigration and same-sex
marriage. Something to think about is whether the policies and positions maintained by those in power actually reflect
the research and data on the topic or issue they address. In other words, does the rhetoric match the evidence
gathered through careful research?
Details Attempt 1 Evaluated Attempt 2 Evaluated Attempt 3 Available
Questions to Consider
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow
learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
Which sociological theory of power best explains the political decision-making process in today’s society?
How does cultural diversity influence policy making? For example, how do state policies pertaining to social
issues like immigration and same-sex marriage differ depending on the cultural diversity and demographic and
socioeconomic composition of that state?
Why is the sociological approach to cultural diversity useful for understanding how policy decisions are made
and how political debates over social issues are articulated by key stakeholders?
Resources
Suggested Resources
The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful
context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation
menu of your courseroom.
FMG Video
Click the following link to view a video purchased through Films Media Group for use in this Capella course. Any
distribution of video content or associated links is prohibited.
The Story We Tell: Race The Power of an Illusion. | Transcript.
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Assessment Instructions
Note: You must complete Assessment 4 before beginning this one.
Building on your research and analysis of the immigration policy or , this assessment
asks you to more closely examine the connection between power and policy, and law making by comparing and
contrasting how two states have handled these issues.
In order to understand the link between power and political and legal decision making, you will place this process
in each state in the appropriate context. That means that you need to assess the historical, demographic, cultural,
and socioeconomic factors that have influenced each state’s different approach to immigration policy or same-sex
marriage. You will also reflect on the consequences of in policies and laws regarding
controversial social and political issues like these.
This assessment combines the key components of studying cultural diversity from a sociological perspective:
placing current social issues in historical context, understanding how demographic and cultural trends influence
public opinion, and applying sociological theories to determine the role of power in shaping policy-making
decisions.
Deliverable
Write an essay addressing each of the following parts:
Part 1 Complete the following:
Discuss one of the following for each of the two states you have chosen as it relates to your chosen
topic:
Law (rules and standards enforced by a particular institution).
Politics (the key political players in the policy-making and law-making processes).
Policy (principles or methods used to achieve a particular goal or make decisions about political
or social issues).
Discuss theories of power that might explain the differences between how each state has handled
your issue.
Examples of theories of power include power elite theory, the four networks theory of power,
pluralism, Marxist theory, and state autonomy theory.
Discuss other possible explanations for the differences in how each state’s government has
approached your topic. Address at least three of the following potential factors, and come up with
another of your own that might explain the divergent approaches you have identified:
Demographics of the state population, including age, race/ethnicity, gender, and percentage of
the population in urban versus rural areas.
Geography.
Religion.
History.
Socioeconomic standing, including median or average income and education levels of the
population, as well as the overall economic well-being of each state.
Part 2 Answer the following, incorporating data to support your answers:
To what extent have these states’ existing policies and laws affected past migration patterns of the
groups affected (immigrants or those seeking same-sex marriage rights)?
How might future migration patterns be affected?
Part 3 Complete the following:
Reflect on a historical precedent in which a state has had to alter its laws as a result of inconsistencies
with federal law.
Why and how did the state change its laws?
What lessons might be learned from this precedent, and how can those lessons be applied to
your topic?
Additional Requirements
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
Length: 68 pages, not including the title and reference pages.
Format: Include a title page and reference page, and format the essay and your citations according to
current APA style and formatting guidelines.
Sources: Cite at least four credible, scholarly sources to support your points.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.
How to use the scoring guide
Comparing Politics, Law, Policy, and Power Scoring Guide
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