field of observation (old people)

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Find a place to observe old people and their interactions with others. Definition of old people depends on you. People who are 70 or over? Or people who are physically frail? Or people who look “old” like grey hair, wrinkles, or gait? Observation site could be, but not limited to, grocery store, shopping mall, hospital wait room, restaurant, metro station, train station, or your work place. Public places with people of all kinds of age groups would be better. You can observe interactions, or a lack thereof, between younger people and old people at those places. If you cannot find any, try more age-segregated places such as senior center or retirement community.

Observe human interactions for at least one hour. Take notes while observing. How are old people treated by others? Are old people treated differently? Do they look “out of place”? How? Are there any differences between men and women? How about race and/or social class? How are gender, race, and social class related to interactions? (2-3 pages).

if possible Apply at least four concepts and/or theories from Chapters 3 and 4 to analyze what you have observed. Underline or bold the concepts and theories you are using.

Finally try to apply macrosociology and microsociology to your observation. Use your sociological imagination. Try to connect individual interactions and social structure. You observe human interactions, which does not happen in the vacuum. What kind of social structure is behind the interaction pattern? Think hard (1-2 pages).

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