Putting it all together: Food, community, and everyday life in the DMV 

In the earlier steps of this Doing Sociology Assignment, you looked into what sociological research tells us about food culture and immigrant communities, then you turned to explore demographic and residential patterns across the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) metro area, and finally you visited and took field notes at an international grocery store. In this final step, you will write a brief paper wrapping up the project.

Your overall goal for this paper is to explain what you learned about the DMV metro area from this entire assignment. You’ll want to think about how the different steps in this project have helped to answer the following questions:

  • Who lives here in the DMV?
  • Where do people live? (think about residential settlement patterns)
  • What are some of the differences you observed in choice or selection of food items in the markets you visited (especially when compared to mainstream supermarkets)?
  • How do differences in settlement patterns and food choice reflect diversity or social inequality in the DMV?

In answering these questions, you’ll need to incorporate three sources of data:

  1. The field notes you and your classmates wrote up following your observations at the international grocery store
  2. Demographic and residential data from the US Census Bureau about the neighborhood where the international grocery store you visited was located
  3. Sociological concepts and ideas that can help us understand food, community, and life in the local region. You should not conduct any additional, outside research for this part of the paper; instead, you should use ideas you learned from the articles you read for Step 1 of this assignment or from our textbook readings throughout the semester.

Below you will find a selection of links that will prove very helpful in your preparation for our upcoming Final exam group project. All of the links work (as of last week), although some may require that you login to your library account. Please take the time to at least skim the articles and news stories as you prepare for next week. Thanks.

The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate changehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/30/migrant-caravan-causes-climate-change-central-america (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Register of Commission documents: The concept of ‘climate refugee’: Towards a possible definition Document date: 2019-01-29 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.EPRS_BRI(2018)621893 Briefing. Impact News Service. https://advance-lexis-com.proxymu.wrlc.org/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:5S5X-9HY1-JDG9-Y16B-00000-00&context=1516831 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Population structure and aging

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Population_structure_and_ageing(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Climate Migrants

http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2017/climate-migrants/index.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

How Japan is battling a birthrate in decline

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/oct/25/japan-birthrate-decline (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Let climate-threatened Pacific Islanders migrate to Australia or NZ

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/08/australia-and-nz-should-allow-open-migration-for-pacific-islanders-threatened-by-climate-says-report (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Has the era of the ‘climate change refugee’ begun?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/08/07/has-the-era-of-the-climate-change-refugee-begun/?utm_term=.6ebf84e8a46a (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

How a Warming Planet Drives Human Migration

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/magazine/how-a-warming-planet-drives-human-migration.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170626105746.htm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.




Solution Preview

Food and Community Project

The population distribution in a particular region highly depends on the factors of influence within a particular area. In some cases, the population in a particular area is likely to be represented in some of the places where the public therein is often likely to frequent. Therefore, understanding the population in the Maryland and Virginia area could be determined if an individual visited a grocery store in Washington DC. In this case, a visit to the store gave me an opportunity to understand some of the factors that determine the population composition of the region.

(592 words)

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