Collaborative Web Project on Social Structure, Agency, and Diversity

Activity Description:

Objectives:

  • To inform the general public about work-family linkages in the focal country.
  • To develop practical skills in critical thinking, collaborative writing, and web page design.

Format:

The web site will be a series of interconnected pages that synthesize information from the individual sole-authored research papers. As a team, students will decide how to best present the collective research, using the broad themes of the course—social structure, agency, and diversity—as an implicit framework. Each student must take “first-author” responsibility for at least two web pages.

Each web site must also have the following components:

  • Purpose, Disclaimer, & Authorship. On the home page for this website, (1) describe the purpose of the web site, (2) acknowledge the limitations of your research in a modest, but not apologetic way on the introductory page, and (3) list all authors. Place a condensed version of the purpose and authorship at the bottom of all web pages.
  • National Context. Summarize the national context of work-family linkages, including the demographic situation and the cultural milieu. Do not overwhelm the readers with too many numbers or lines of text. Be concise. All information should be sociologically relevant, and it should be presented in a visually appealing way.
  • Major Work-Family Issues. Identify and discuss several work-family issues in the focal country.
  • Work-Family Policies. Describe the national system of work-family benefits and regulations.
  • The Social Organization of Childcare. Describe the national childcare system.
  • Work-Family Organizations and Government Agencies. Identify and describe several organizations and government agencies that deal with work-family issues. Provide contact information for each one.
  • Annotated Bibliography. Create a comprehensive annotated bibliography (in .pdf format) that combines all references for the entire website.
  • Links to Relevant Web Sites. Integrate links as appropriate throughout the web site; do not merely list a bunch of sites on a separate page. Do not get carried away with links. Quality is much more important than quantity. Ask yourself: how is this link relevant to the assignment?
  • Flag & Map of Country. The professor will demonstrate how to download images from the web. Students, however, may not scan published images or download copyrighted images without the written permission of the owner of the images. Otherwise, students risk being held legally responsible for violating copyright laws.
  • References. Identify all sources of information at the bottom of each web page. Only cite the references that you use for that particular page. Give complete citations, and use ASA format.

Evaluation Criteria:

The professor will evaluate each group’s web site on its sociological sophistication, quality of writing for a general audience, visual appeal, and “usability” design features. Refer to the criteria checklist for details.

Each team will receive a group grade. The professor, however, reserves the right to lower the grade of any team member who does not adequately fulfill her/his group responsibilities or who is uncooperative, subversive, or non-participatory in the collective decision-making and writing process.

Download the Evaluation Checklist here.

Activity Source:

Sweet, Stephen, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Joshua Mumm, Judith Casey, and Christina Matz. 2006. Teaching Work and Family: Strategies, Activities, and Syllabi. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.