soci 3991

Assignment 2 [100 marks 18%]

Before you attempt this assignment, make sure that you have completed all of the prerequisite readings and learning activities in Unit 2. This is an upper level course, and your essay assignments must show that you have done extra research to expand and go deeper into the topics that you choose. You may use and cite the unit readings for your essay assignments, but you are expected to do more than merely restate what you have read in these materials. Show original thought by providing examples and illustrations relevant to the topics; marshal evidence that supports your views; and demonstrate that you have undertaken some further reading [and always cite your sources!].

Please note: If you rely only on the unit readings and material to complete this assignment, you will not be able to attain the highest grade for this course.


Choose 2 questions from the following topic list and write 2 essays of approximately 750 words. Be sure that you present the concepts in your own words and that you include current information.

Your word-processed assignments should follow APA format for preparing your paper and citing sources; however, do not write an abstract.

If you have any questions about the assignment, consult your course Open Learning Faculty Member. When you complete an assignment, submit it to your Open Learning Faculty Member for comments and evaluation.

Topics for Assignment 2

Following is the list of potential topics for this assignment:

  1. According to the reading you completed for this unit by Zygmunt Bauman, identity is something that needs to be invented rather than discovered. How does this concept relate to his discussion of the idea of “nation”? Why did nation-states invest such efforts to build a national identity in their citizens?
  2. In what way is the formation of Canada as a state intimately related to its diversity? Can we say that it is a nation-state? Why or why not? Base your answer on history as well as on the principles that the Supreme Court of Canada found in the Canadian Constitution in the Reference Case re Secession of Quebec?
  3. How is Quebec’s national identity related to its aspirations for political independence from Canada? How has the national identity of Quebec been transformed through its history? Why has language been such an important aspect of the national identity of Quebec?
  4. Contrast the formation of Quebec’s national identity with that of First Nations peoples. What are the main differences between them? Can you identify similarities?
  5. What different models of Aboriginal self-government have emerged in Canada, according to the Papillon article? Have you found other models in your research? Do they fulfill the demand of Aboriginal peoples for self-determination? Why have some critics contended that these modalities of self-government basically amount to colonial domination in a different guise?

Criteria for Evaluating Essays

Following is a set of criteria that is the basis for evaluating written assignments in this course:

Substance [75 marks]

  • The research paper provides evidence of critical thinking and analysis as well as a synthesis of researched information throughout, and it presents a logical and persuasive argument.
  • Research sources are relevant, current, and credible. They are clearly documented in the paper.
  • The introduction offers a sense of direction for the paper and presents a clear thesis statement to the reader.
  • The body develops the necessary aspects of the main idea and provides examples, support, or illustration for each aspect of the main idea.
  • The conclusion summarizes the main points and ties them to the thesis; it also presents an impact statement and/or suggests direction for future research.

Writing Style and Format [25 marks]

  • Paragraphs are unified, developed, and coherent, with transitions between ideas.
  • Sentences are grammatically correct; words are chosen for accuracy and impact.
  • The writing follows the conventions of spelling and mechanics [punctuation, etc.].
  • The format follows the APA documentation style accurately and consistently.

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