Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, 19 Kids, Kardashians, Real Housewives of Orange County

Term Paper:

Find an episode of a reality show that deals with families (Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, 19 Kids, Kardashians, Real Housewives of Orange County, etc. etc. etc.). Here are some questions that might be useful (but all of them won’t apply to each and every type of episode, and may be more logical in a different order, depending on your episode):

  • Who is in the family? Is it easy to tell?
    • What type of family structure is there?
    • What types of roles do the individuals have? (not just mother and sister, but wage-earner, caretaker, etc.?). Exploring gender roles here might be useful.
    • At what stage of the life course is the family?
    • What are the family’s strengths?
    • What are the family’s challenges?
    • How may
      • family structure
      • family roles, including gender roles, and
      • life course stages
      • family strengths and challenges

have impacted what you saw in the episode?

  • What theories that we’ve learned about help explain what is going on in the family?

You can choose one of the sociological perspectives (functionalist, conflict, feminist, ecological, symbolic interactionists) theory that matches the episode’s content closely and use that to create your own discussion and analysis.

So what you’ll be doing in this paper is discussing the family in the episode, and also analyzing what you’ve seen.

Analyzing from a social science perspective is different than making judgements or expressing feelings, like “this family has good morals,” or “he is a bad father.” Analyzing means trying to interpret and explain information. Your text is your analysis guide. We’ll practice this in class too.

The textbook obviously gets cited, like any other book would.


Introduction, where you lay out what you will do in the paper.

Body of the paper, logically organized with good flow between paragraphs (don’t forget transitions).

Conclusion, where you tell me what you did in the paper and what any future directions or recommendations might be that logically arise from what your discussion and analysis in the paper.

Please do not worry about the 3 paragraph body style paper, thesis statement, etc.

I do not want fancy, word-heavy, adjective-laden writing. I want a clear, easy-to-read paper with paragraphs and sections put in an order that makes sense. You can use subheadings.

First person writing is not appropriate for non-personal parts of a paper.

Papers are to be written individually, and any work that is not your own thought (textbook, Google search, Wikipedia, other website, etc.) must be cited.


Please cite all the work.

My expectation is that any idea that is not your own will be cited. Additionally, an A paper typically has 5 academic citations attached.

And then you include a reference page like this at the end of the paper (APA style is best)

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