The main purpose of this essay is to allow you to demonstrate the relevance of c
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The main purpose of this essay is to allow you to demonstrate the relevance of classical theory to practical situations today, by applying the theories of two classical theorists to a common workplace issue or problem.
Theorists: Emile Durkheim and Max Weber.
Jot down several common workplace issues or problems that you have experienced, such as:
• taking on new or more work –or changing job positions– due to a company merger
• losing a promotion to someone you feel is less qualified
• ongoing frustration or miscommunication with a boss, colleague, or co-worker
• being discriminated against during the hiring process
• being let go, fired, or forced to resign
• not receiving a raise you believe you deserved
• having difficulty managing or establishing your authority with others
Select one of the workplace issues you listed, for your Essay 2 paper. Make sure it’s an issue you don’t mind describing and then interpreting according to two of the theorists assigned for Weeks 2-4 of the course. If you’re not sure what to write about, talk to your instructor.
Next, select two theorists assigned for Weeks 2-4 who would have opposite or contrasting perspectives on the workplace issue you chose. Note down how each theorist would analyze the issue differently.
Your last pre-writing step is deciding which theorist’s perspective on the issue you agree with most and why.
Introduction and Thesis Statement – Paragraph 1
Begin Essay 2 by briefly describing the workplace issue you experienced: Who was involved? What happened? When did it happen? Where did it happen?
Then briefly state how each of the two theorists you chose for this essay would respond to the workplace issue –what reason would each theorist give for why the issue occurred– one sentence per theorist.
End the paragraph with a one-sentence, underlined thesis statement that first concisely states which theorist’s analysis of the issue you agree with most, followed by three reasons why you agree with this theorist’s analysis.
Example thesis statement for Essay 2:
“I agree with Max Weber that my company CEO’s strong preference for e-mail communication over face-to-face meetings is an example of bureaucracy, because e-mail is more efficient, provides written documentation of all interactions, and maintains the company hierarchy.”
Supporting Reasons –Paragraphs 2-4
You should have three paragraphs clearly elaborating or explaining each of the three reasons you give in your thesis. The topic sentence of each paragraph (in this case, the first sentence of each paragraph) should clearly state which supporting reason from the thesis statement is addressed in that paragraph. For example, the first supporting paragraph based on the example thesis statement above might read:
“The first reason I agree with Weber that my boss’s preference for e-mail messages is an example of bureaucracy is because e-mail communication is more efficient than face-to-face communication. In ‘The Bureaucratic Machine,’ Weber describes bureaucracy as a highly efficient means of practicing capitalism.” [Consider giving a quote or specific example from “The Bureaucratic Machine” here, as evidence, with a page number citation].
End each supporting paragraph by briefly bringing in your workplace issue as further supporting evidence.
Counterarguments and Refutations—Paragraph 5
1a. Present a counter-argument against your first supporting reason, based on your second theorist’s analysis of the workplace issue.
Example Counter Argument:
“Karl Marx would argue that as a member of the bourgeoisie, my boss uses e-mail to alienate her employees more than she uses it to be efficient.”
Briefly support the counterargument with specific evidence from the second theorist’s work we’ve read.
“In ‘Estranged Labour,’ Marx explains that the bourgeoisie treat their employees (the proletariat) as objects and machines of labor, not fellow human beings.” [Consider giving a brief quote or specific example from “Estranged Labour” here, as evidence, with a page number citation].
1b. Now, refute this counterargument based on your interpretation of the workplace issue. Use evidence from your workplace situation to support your refutation.
“While it may be the case that my boss uses e-mail to alienate her employees, her e-mails tend to be warm and personable; they also sometimes state that she wishes she had time to communicate with us face-to-face.”
2a. Next, give a second counterargument against your second supporting reason, based on the second theorist you chose.
2b. Then, refute this second counterargument based on your interpretation of the workplace issue. Use evidence from your current event to support your refutation.
3a. Lastly, give a third counterargument against your third supporting reason, based on the second theorist.
3b. And end with a refutation of this third counterargument, according to your interpretation of the workplace issue, and using evidence from your workplace situation to support your refutation.
Your three refutations should clearly reject the counterarguments from the second theorist and provide evidence from your workplace situation that reinforces your supporting reasons from the first theorist.
Restate your thesis and offer an overarching insight based both on your workplace situation and the first theorist you chose. For example:
“The fact that my company’s CEO avoids meeting with her employees face-to-face and prefers to communicate with us by e-mail is a strong contemporary example of Weber’s theory of bureaucracy, because e-mail is efficient, it is a written record of communication, and it preserves the hierarchical distance between her and us. Although she may want to meet with us face-to-face, she feels she can’t make the time for it, and still have the company succeed in a capitalist, global economy. Bureaucracy, as Weber described it 100 years ago, is an all-encompassing system; thus, my CEO is as much its victim as she is its perpetrator. We are all victims of a bureaucratic machine.”
You may also choose to mention the second theorist you chose, in your conclusion.
o Make sure the essay is 5-7 pages (11 or 12 point standard font –Times New Roman or Arial– double spaced) in APA format. The cover sheet and reference sheet do not count toward the page total.
o Be sure your introduction begins with a brief description of a workplace issue you have experienced.
o Be sure your essay has a one-sentence thesis statement, with three supporting reasons, on one classical theorist’s interpretation of a workplace issue you’ve experienced. (For this course, a classical theorist is any theorist whose work was assigned in Week 2, 3, or 4).
o Please underline your thesis statement.
o Make sure you have three supporting paragraphs –one on each supporting reason– and that the first sentence of each paragraph clearly repeats the supporting reason from your thesis statement.
o Also, make sure your supporting paragraphs contain evidence from both the theorist and your workplace issue.
o Be sure that your essay has three counterarguments (one for each supporting reason) from a different classical theorist we read in Week 2, 3, or 4.
o Check to see that you briefly supported each counterargument with evidence from the second theorist.
o Be sure that your essay refutes all three counter-arguments (one refutation for each counterargument) with evidence from your workplace issue.
o Check to see that your concluding paragraph re-states the thesis (including all three supporting reasons) and ends with a general insight.