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Sociology in the Digital World 7 Questions

Sociology in the Digital World 7 Questions

Deliverable 1 – Digital Growth Timeline

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your ability evaluate how society’s structure adapts to digital growth.

Instructions

You are working for a local department store in the Operations Department. You notice that their business practices and use of technology are not up to date. You have worked other places that have relied more on digital technology that have been extremely successful, in part because of their operating efficiency.

Your company is considering making upgrades to several of your operating processes. Because of your history of working in more technologically progressive environments, you are asked by your supervisor to create a visual presentation with a timeline of digital growth in the organization and compare it to the digital growth in society in general. In discussing this project with your boss, it is clear that digital growth can refer not only to Internet and computers, but it can also refer to other aspects of business operations such as cash registers, phone services, advertisements, various tools for communication, etc. Your supervisor asks that this timeline be created to help you, your supervisor, and other stakeholders determine the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed upgrade in technology in the workplace with the overall goal of understanding what systems can be put into place or maintained that can help the store run as efficiently as possible. You are told that the timeline can be in any visual format that you choose.

For this timeline, you are to reflect and address the following sets of questions:

  • What is digital growth? Where is the company now in terms of digital growth?
  • What are some examples of technological advances that could be used in a department store operation?
  • What are some possible advantages and disadvantages of using advanced technology?
  • What is Big Data? How might Big Data be used in this business?
  • What are some possible advantages and disadvantages of the store using Big Data?
  • Do you believe that updating technology and business practices will be advantageous? Why or Why not?

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted No definition or examples of digital growth. Some explanation with brief examples of digital growth. Good definition with some detailed examples of digital growth in the company. Detailed definition and fully developed examples of digital growth in the company.
Not Submitted Does not address advantages or disadvantages of using advanced technology. Briefly addresses advantages or disadvantages of using advanced technology. Addresses advantages and disadvantages of using advanced technology with some detailed examples. Addresses advantages and disadvantages of using advanced technology with fully supported examples.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to define or give examples of Big Data. Briefly defines or gives example of Big Data. Correctly defines and gives examples of Big Data with some detail. Defines Big Data and offers strong examples of its use for the company.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to address advantages or disadvantages of Big Data. Attempts to address advantages or disadvantages of Big Data. Addresses advantages and disadvantages of Big Data. Addresses advantages and disadvantages of Big Data with strong examples for the company.
Not Submitted No opinion offered regarding proposed upgrades. Attempts to offer opinion about proposed upgrades with no detail. Offers opinion about proposed upgrades with good detail. Offers opinion about proposed upgrades with strong detail.

Deliverable 2 – Understanding Digital Identity Formation

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your ability to conduct research into how a digital footprint is created by looking at your own personal and professional life to determine your digital identity. In addition, you will be able to examine how an organization’s digital footprint impacts their overall success.

Instructions

You are working for a local department store in the Operations Department. You notice that their business practices and use of technology are not up to date. One day while working, you are having a discussion about technology and identity formation with your supervisor. Your supervisor continues to explain that individuals and organizations have digital identities that are formed and impacted through various methods. Your supervisor continues, saying, “They can develop or change through social media, positive or negative press, word of mouth, and so on.”

You begin to understand that the digital footprint of a business or organization can greatly impact their success or failure due to many factors, including the rapid dissemination of information that can occur digitally.

Your supervisor, through the course of the discussion, acknowledges that you are very fluent in the area of digital identity and asks you to conduct research and create a visual presentation explaining how digital identity is formed for both individuals and organizations. Your supervisor says, “This visual presentation will be presented to not only me, but company stakeholders and your coworkers in order to help them understand how identity is formed, and how to best maximize digital identity to contribute to the overall success of our store.”

Your supervisor continues, saying, “From this presentation, decision makers will be able to work on identity management and can then implement digital strategies in order to maintain or improve the store’s identity. In the end, this is intended to help increase exposure to the store, enhance the customer base, and the overall success of the store. The visual representation should be interactive and informative and can be presented in any visual format that you choose.”

For this research and presentation, you are to reflect upon and address the following topics:

  • What are the key methods of identity development? Consider available technology, socioeconomic status, generational issues, access to technological resources, etc.
  • Explain how technology and digital forums can aid in identity formation.
    • Consider available technology, socioeconomic status, generational issues, access to technological resources, etc.
    • Are there differences between identity development in the digital world and in the physical world?
    • As technology improves and changes, what are some things that individuals and organizations do to impact change and development in the digital age?
    • How can individuals change the course of action for organizations and their digital footprint?
  • How is the digital identity of your store in the above scenario formulated, and what impact might that identity have on the overall success of the store?

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted Does not address key methods of identity development or consider technology, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Addresses key methods of identity development and/or considers technology, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Addresses key methods of identity development with supported evidence, and considers technology, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Explains key methods of identity development with supported evidence, and offers strong examples of technology, socioeconomic status, and other factors.
Not Submitted Does not explain roles of technology or digital forums in identity development. No examples. Addresses roles of technology or digital forums in identity development with little-to-no examples. Thorough explanation of roles of technology and digital forums in identity development with some examples. Fully explains roles of technology and digital forum in identity development with supported examples.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to identify formation of digital identity. No impact offered. Identifies formation of digital identity or predicts impact. Thorough explanation of formation of digital identity and prediction of impact. Fully explains formation of digital identity and predicts impact with supported examples.

Deliverable 3 – Examining the Digital World Through the Use of Sociological Theory

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of prominent sociological theories and how they impact the digital world.

Instructions

You are working for a local department store in the Operations Department. You notice that their business practices and use of technology are not up to date. The Human Resources Department does not have adequate computer access and often requires employees to complete some business at home. They also require prospective employees to apply from home. You recognize that not all people have personal computers, and some might be accessing business and personal records from a public computer. There are two prominent sociological theories that can be used to easily examine computer usage for individuals and organizations. Those theories are Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory.

At a staff meeting, you and your team are engaged in a discussion about the use of technology on both an individual and organizational level. You cite the digital divide as a major concern. Your store is considering an upgrade in some or all of their technological resources.

Recognizing that you are technologically savvy, your supervisor asks you to generate a visual comparison that considers the use of public computers versus a personal computer. You will rank concepts such as ease of use, time, and comfort in completing tasks, security factors, email management, and safety in conducting business that is typically completed on a computer that may lead someone to experience the digital divide (a difference between groups of people and their use of digital technology). You will also need to consider the sociological theories named above and explain how from a sociological perspective, it would benefit or hinder the store you work in to upgrade their technology.

Your comparison should consider various factors identified below and will illustrate the benefits and some potential limitations of utilizing technology. Your presentation will be presented to your supervisor and other members of the Operations Department in order to determine which, if any, components of the store’s current technological operations will be updated. The visual comparison can be in any engaging format that you select.

For this comparison chart, you are to reflect upon and address the following sets of questions/information.

  • Define conflict theory.
  • Define symbolic interaction theory.
  • Discuss how each of these theories would explain the use of technology and the development of the digital world we now live.
  • Consider multiple ways that society has changed in the past several decades and what contributed to that change.
  • Provide examples of technological growth and change over the past several decades.
  • Make direct correlations between the technologies that exist and the changes that have occurred at the organizational and societal levels in the past several decades.
  • Define digital divide.
  • Consider factors that create the digital divide, such as access to technology, socioeconomic status, age, personal interest, location of residence, etc.
  • Based upon factors that cause the digital divide, suggest ways that this divide can be combated.
  • How does the digital divide apply to the store that you work in for this scenario?
  • Which theoretical perspective can best be applied to your store in the above scenario to help explain and counter the impacts of the digital divide?

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted Does not define key theories or describe ways they relate to technology. Defines key theories or describes briefly ways they relate to technology. Clear definitions of key theories with good description of relationships to technology. Fully defines key theories and offers excellent description of relationships to technology.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to describe societal changes or technological growth. No correlations made. Describes societal changes or technological growth. Little-to-no correlations made. Describes societal changes and technological growth. Correlations made. Fully describes societal changes and technological growth with supporting research. Strong correlations made.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to define digital divide or consider factors. Defines digital divide or consider factors. Defines digital divide, and clearly identifies factors. Thoroughly defines digital divide, and clearly identifies factors with strong supporting evidence.
Not Submitted No suggestions to counter digital divide or application of theoretical perspectives. Brief suggestions to counter digital divide or application of theoretical perspectives. Strong suggestions to counter digital divide and application of theoretical perspectives. Fully developed suggestions to counter digital divide and application of theoretical perspectives with supported details.

Deliverable 4 – Using Sociological Theory to Understand Organizational Change

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your ability to examine organizational changes that are due to technological changes and apply the sociological theory that would explain such change.

Instructions

You have recently started working for a local department store in the Operations Department. Upon settling into your new position, you come to realize that they have outdated business practices. As a department, you and your peers begin to discuss changes that your store could make to help the store become more profitable and more competitive in the marketplace. This leads to discussions about the evolution of business practices at larger corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, Kohl’s, etc. Partway through your discussion, your Director of Operations comes in and joins the conversation. He likes what he is hearing and starts to brainstorm out loud with the group how your store can get “more with the times.”

Knowing that every change within an organization is made for a specific reason, your director asks that you research some of the key theoretical perspectives that would explain how and why organizations change. Because of your sociological prowess from your days in school, you know that you can apply Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory to the reasons for organization change, but your supervisor has asked for a minimum of three theories that would support change.

In addition to conducting research on theoretical perspectives for change, your supervisor would like you to put together some sort of visual representation that demonstrates how each of the theories explains organizational change, and then highlight the one that you think is most applicable to your store. You will be presenting your visual presentation to store management in an effort to provide them information so that they can determine the avenues of change that are most appropriate for your store. Because your supervisor sees the value in the changes to the organization, he has encouraged you to create a presentation that will grab the attention of the audience and that includes both pictorial and written information so that all the audience can easily envision the application of the change to your environment.

For this presentation you are to reflect and address the following information/questions:

  • Provide a brief definition of Conflict Theory.
  • Provide a brief definition of Symbolic Interaction.
  • What changes have been made in various aspects of society (work, school, shopping, etc.)? Explain them through the lens of Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory.
  • How do Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory explain or impact organizational change?
  • Identify at least one other sociological theory, and demonstrate how it applies to organizational change in our society.
  • Of the three identified theories (Conflict, Symbolic Interaction, and the theory of your choice), which theory do you believe best explains organizational changes in our society? Consider various aspects of the organizations that change i.e. technology, online, and face-to-face transactions, local versus global operations, etc.

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to define theories. Correctly defines theories. Defines key theories in detail. Thoroughly defines key theories with supporting research.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempts to explain changes in society by applying theories. Correctly explains changes in society by applying theories. Explains changes In society by applying theories in detail. Thoroughly explains changes in society by applying theories with fully supported examples.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempts to explain organizational changes in society by applying theories. Correctly explains organizational changes by applying theories. Explain organizational changes by applying theories in detail. Thoroughly explains organizational changes by applying theories with fully supported examples.
Not Submitted No selection of additional theory. Selects an additional theory with brief application to organizational change. Selects an additional theory with application to organizational change explained in detail. Selects an additional theory with application to organizational change. Fully supported examples.
Not Submitted No selection of theory. Selects preferred theory with brief explanation of organizational change. Selects preferred theory with support through explanation and personal examples. Selects preferred theory and fully supports through explanation and examples.

Deliverable 5 – Evolution of Language

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your ability to evaluate the evolution of language within online and digital forums due to advances and changes in technology.

Instructions

You have recently started working for a local department store in the Operations Department. You have always had a passion for communication and technology, and at your new store, you quickly realize that their methods of communication and their technological resources are outdated. You have worked retail for many years and over time have realized that there are many gaps and differences in the way that people communicate and the forms of technology that they are comfortable with. This applies to both your customers and your colleagues.

Because you feel that this is an area of expertise for you, you approach your supervisor and begin a discussion about communication changes and gaps in communication in conjunction with the technological changes that have happened over the last several decades. You and your supervisor discuss the best ways for your store to understand various communication methods and the gaps that exist in communication among your consumers and colleagues.

You volunteer to put together a written summary of broad spectrum changes in technology and the resulting changes in communication methods and gaps in communication. Your supervisor loves this idea. He does ask, however, that the information be presented in the form of a pamphlet or written statement that can be both presented to staff and handed out by Human Resources as a training tool for employee relations.

You are encouraged to provide as many examples of changes to communication methods that you can come up with. Also consider many different gaps in communication such as generational differences, differences in socioeconomic status, the region the people live in, interest in technology, setting in which you are communicating in (personal versus professional), etc. After considering these issues, your supervisor would like you to present some ideas as to how your store can bridge communication gaps between colleagues and with your customers.

For this written summary, you are to reflect upon and address the following information:

  • Consider various methods of communication, types of technology that can assist in communication, and other factors involving technology that may impact or change communication.
  • Consider several factors that impact access to communication in society. Some possible are socioeconomic status, access to technological resources, generational differences, differences in intellect, etc.
  • How have online environments and technological growth impacted how society communicates on both personal and professional levels? Be sure to provide specific examples of both.
  • How do changes in methods of communication create communication gaps in our society?
  • What are some ways that society can bridge communication gaps that happen as a result of technological growth?

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted No identification of methods of communication or consideration of factors that impact access to communication. Identifies methods of communication or addresses factors that impact access to communication. Identifies methods of communication, and thoroughly considers factors that impact access to communication. Fully Identifies methods of communication, and thoroughly considers factors that impact access to communication.
Not Submitted Does not address impact of technological growth on society. No examples. Identifies impact of technological growth on society, but does not provide examples. Fully addresses impact of technological growth on society with examples. Thoroughly addresses impact of technological growth on society with fully supported examples.
Not Submitted Does not address communication gaps. Addresses communication gaps, but does not provide examples. Fully addresses communication gaps with examples. Fully addresses communication gaps with fully supported examples.
Not Submitted No noticeable suggestions to bridge the gaps resulting from technological growth. Suggests ways to bridge the gaps resulting from technological growth, but does not provide examples. Offers strong suggestions to bridge the gaps resulting from technological growth, and includes examples. Offers strong suggestions to bridge the gaps resulting from technological growth with fully supported examples.

Deliverable 6 – Deviance Video Collage

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of deviance in the digital world and the changes to deviance that we see due to technological advances.

Instructions

You are working for a local department store in the Operations Department. Since you began working with this organization, you have noticed that your team members are more comfortable with technology. However, the available technology in the store has not been updated. It is also apparent to you that as technology has improved in our society, so has the types of deviant behaviors that occur, and you’re aware that deviant behaviors in both the physical world and in digital environments can impact business practices.

With the observations that you have made, you approach your boss who has also noticed an increase in deviant behaviors within society and has an overall concern about how the store can be impacted.

Because of his increasing concern about the impact of deviant behaviors on the store, and his knowledge of your familiarity with the subject, you are asked by your supervisor to create a video collage that will demonstrate your interpretation of deviance in the digital world and the impact it can have on the store you are working in. Your supervisor informs you that this video collage will be presented to your supervisor and colleagues in order to help you and the business determine the types of deviance that need to be addressed, and how to effectively manage it through daily operations. Your supervisor encourages you to use a variety of visual representations in order to captivate your audience and get your message across.

For this video collage, you are to reflect and address the following questions and information.

  • What is defined as deviant in the physical world?
  • What is defined as deviant in the digital or online world?
  • Compare and contrast deviance between the two environments.
  • Consider various forms of deviance in both the physical and virtual worlds, and explain how they impact society.
  • How would Conflict Theory define deviance?
  • How would Symbolic Interaction Theory define deviance?
  • How do the theories discussed impact the meaning or interpretation of deviance in a digital or online environment?
  • How do you envision that deviance in the virtual world, or deviance due to technological advances, can impact your store?
  • What are some ways to manage various forms of deviance in the day-to-day operations of your store?

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted No definition of deviance provided for either physical or digital environments, no understanding of the concept demonstrated. Defines deviance, but lacks explanation of basic features for each type of environment. Defines deviance in the physical and digital environments and begins to compare or contrast them, but explanation is underdeveloped. Defines deviance in both the physical and digital worlds, fully explains and compares deviance in physical and digital environments.
Not Submitted No discussion of how deviance impacts and creates change in society. Discussed deviance, but no explanation of how it impacts and creates change in society. Discussed deviance and change in society, but fails to elaborate or make direct connections between the two concepts. Discussed deviance fully and provides examples and makes direct connections between deviance and changes in society.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to define any of the theories. Correctly defines a theory; attempts to define another. No formulation of thoughts on theoretical impact on the meaning of deviance. Correctly defines both key theories and begins to formulate thoughts on their impact on the meaning of deviance. Correctly defines both key ethical theories and how they impact the meaning of deviance in the physical and digital worlds.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to explain how deviance could impact work environment. Attempts to explain impacts of deviance on workplace with some supporting evidence. Attempts to explain how deviance could impact the workplace with adequate supporting evidence. Thoroughly explains how deviance could impact the workplace with strong supporting evidence.

Deliverable 7 – Narrated Presentation on Updated Business Practices

Competency

This competency will allow you to demonstrate your ability to create a presentation for colleagues that will highlight the benefits of technological growth and how such growth impacts society’s structure, organizational structure, individual identity, and language.

Instructions

You have recently started working for a local department store in the Operations Department. Upon settling into your new position, you come to realize that they have outdated business practices. In your past work experience, you have utilized various forms of technology to complete daily job functions and have been part of updating technology to meet the demands of your organization. Technological advances can address all areas of the business including, but not limited to, how applicants apply for positions, the type of phone and computer systems operated, cash register functions, marketing methods, etc.

You have shared your thoughts with your supervisor, and he has tasked you with putting together a narrated presentation, with visuals for your peers, to share the overall benefits of utilizing modern technology to help improve overall efficiency for the business and help to expand the consumer base for the store.

For this narrated visual presentation, you are to reflect upon and include discussion of the following topics or categories:

  • Demonstrate how digital and technological growth can assist the organization:
    • Provide a definition for digital growth.
    • Explain how digital growth has impacted organizations.
    • Describe how digital growth impacts society as a whole and your store in the future.
  • Demonstrate how an individual creates their own digital identity, how it can impact organizational identity, and how these can be impacted by changes to technology:
    • Explain some key methods of identity development.
    • How can technology and digital forums help with personal or organizational identity formation?
    • What do individuals and employees as a whole have to do with developing the identity of an organization?
  • Demonstrate challenges and benefits to upgrading technological resources:
    • Describe main sociological theories that can describe an individual or a store’s ability to access technological resources.
    • Identify some key examples of societal change due to technology. What does this imply for your store?
    • What is the digital divide and how can this impact the use of technology in your store?
  • Examine your organization through a sociological perspective and explain benefits of change to the organization:
    • Conflict Theory – How is it defined and how would a Conflict Theorist justify upgrades in technology
    • Symbolic Interaction Theory – How is it defined and how would a Symbolic Interactionist justify or explain the need for upgrades to technology?
    • Outline additional theories that can help explain the need for technological growth at your store.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the evolution of language within online environments and with the use of enhanced technology:
    • Examine some of the changes to technology that have impact language and communication.
    • Discuss differences in access to and familiarity with technology such as generational differences, socioeconomic differences, etc. How might this impact your store?
    • Consider how communication could change within your store for employees and consumers with various types of technology.
  • Demonstrate how deviance in the physical and virtual world could impact your store:
    • Provide a definition deviance in both the physical and the virtual world.
    • Explain how deviant behaviors have led to changes at your store and what considerations should be taken into account when upgrading technology at your store.

Consider Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction theory and how they would explain deviance and a method to overcome it at your store. On your final narrated visual, provide a summary that directly ties together your visuals and discussion points, and provide an overall statement of the benefits of updating technological resources to help the store run more efficiently.

Before recording your final narration, rehearse your presentation as if you are delivering it to a live audience so that you are fully prepared. Your presentation should be fluent and fluid in nature so that it is clear that you are the expert on the material that you are presenting to your audience.

Grading Rubric

F F C B A
0 1 2 3 4
No Pass No Pass Competence Proficiency Mastery
Not Submitted No definition or explanation of digital growth as it relates to an organization. Defines digital growth, but lacks explanation of basic features as related to an organization. Defines and explains digital growth; good explanation of features as related to an organization. Defines and fully explains digital growth. Relationship of digital growth to organization fully developed.
Not Submitted No explanation of digital identity development of individual or organization. Defines digital identity development but lacks explanation of organizational development and change. Defines digital identity development; provides explanation of organizational development and change. Defines digital identity development; offers detailed explanation of organizational development and change.
Not Submitted No noticeable attempt to define any key theories, or examples of societal change due to technology, or information on digital divide. Correctly defines one key theory. Little-to-no examples of societal change due to technology or digital divide. Correctly defines key theories. Offers some examples of societal change due to technology and digital divide. Correctly defines key theories. Offers detailed examples of societal change due to technology and digital divide.
Not Submitted No examination of organization through sociological perspective, or theories addressed, or benefits of change. Attempts to examine organization through sociological theories. Little-to-no benefits of change. Examines organization through sociological theories. Cites benefits of change. Thoroughly examine organization through sociological theories. Well-developed benefits of change.
Not Submitted No evaluation of language and communication evolution due to technology, or exploration of sociological differences. Attempts to evaluate evolution of language and communication. Little-to-no exploration of sociological differences. Evaluates evolution of language and communication. Good exploration of sociological differences. Evaluates evolution of language and communication. Fully explores sociological differences.
Not Submitted No definition or explanation of deviance, or no theories addressed. Defines and explains deviance in digital world. Little-to-no theories addressed. Defines and explains deviance. Explains deviance using theories. Some application of theories to assist organization. Defines and explains deviance. Explains deviance using theories and applies theories to assist organization.