Help/ tips for essay writing Case Study: Gatimu is a 35 year old male. His family are part of the Nubian ethnic group, and came to Australia from Northern Sudan as refugees in the year of Gatimu’s birth. He is bilingual, and is able to speak fluent English and Kenzi-Dongolwai (the largest Nubian language). In addition to these languages, his parents also speak Arabic. When Gatimu graduated from Year 12, he decided that he wanted to do physical work rather than pursue academic studies. He soon found work as a labourer on building and construction sites. Most of his work has been with bricklayers, but he has learnt to do most things around a building site. He enjoys his work and likes the physicality of the job. Gatimu is happy to take on the extra work on weekends when it is offered not only because of the extra pay, but because he likes working – it gives him a sense of purpose and identity. His left foot is slightly deformed, which occurred due to some machinery landing on his foot at work three years ago. This has resulted in a slight limp, which he finds mildly annoying. He has been told that the appearance of his foot can be corrected through corrective surgery, but Gatimu feels that this is ‘a waste of time and money’. The repetitive actions of his work have also meant that he often suffers from lower back pain. Most of the time, he ignores this pain and carries on with this work. On the rare occasion, he takes a day off work because of his back but he tends to avoid taking any time off because he views himself as a ‘hard worker’. He has never seen a doctor about his back, but he did receive worker’s compensation for the accident with his foot. It was the only time he had seen a doctor in the last ten years. While Gatimu enjoys his work, he does not like the team on the construction site on which he is currently working. The other workers make him feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. They often call him “Blackie”. One day, he heard another colleague say that they should not call Gatimu that name, and they were told to “back off” and “mind your own business”. Things have not changed. Gatimu feels the best thing he can do is keep working hard. He has also heard some other team members being called “sissy boys” and “girly boys” when they don’t complete the work within the time that the foreperson is demanding, if they ask for time off, or if they complain. His work colleagues also constantly talk about their alleged heterosexual activities, which makes Gatimu uncomfortable. Gatimu identifies as a homosexual, but he does not discuss this openly. He only shares information on his sexual orientation with a select few people. He has struggled with whether to tell his parents, who he knows have strong views against homosexuality. He was afraid of the repercussions when he lived at home of revealing his sexual orientation. Gatimu also tried to date women. He has also been resistant to share his sexual orientation with others from the Sudanese community. Gatimu knows that some people, including his father, will accuse him of being a criminal and in need of punishment. However, his cultural links and his relationship with his parents remain important for him, even though he still sometimes struggles with the mismatch between these cultural views and his sexual orientation. He also feels that he cannot reveal his sexual orientation at his current work environment. As a result, he keeps his sexuality quiet which, at times, causes him great stress and anxiety. He constantly gets pressured by his family and friends to find a girlfriend, to get married, and have children. Recently, Gatimu was severely bashed on his way home from a night on the town. He was at a gay bar, hoping to meet some new friends who are supportive of his sexual orientation, and potentially a partner. He does not like pubs, bars and clubs, but finds it difficult to meet people who also identify as homosexual in everyday life, particularly given his anxieties to be open about his sexuality. He longs for companionship, and stresses this might be too difficult for him to find as a Sudanese man. After he left the club, a young man in a group with other young men yells out “poofter” and, next thing Gatimu remembers, he woke up in hospital. When he is asked if he remembers what happened, Gatimu mentions that someone yelled something, and he remembers nothing after that. He does not reveal what he heard. Gatimu is then cautioned against binge drinking, and is asked if there is someone they can call, such as his girlfriend or a friend. He is scared that is employer, friends, and family will discover what has happened, and provides simple responses to questions from the medical staff. HINT: Structure Your Material Plan a structure with a clear, consistent argument expressed in a formal tone running through the essay. Balance the essay so that it includes: 1. An Introduction – One paragraph should be enough. Refer to the question, state your main argument simply, and indicate to the reader your supporting claims 2. A Body – Contains several paragraphs. Each concerns a separate idea or topic, so that they amount to a series of supporting arguments (claims and evidence) 3. A Conclusion Write an interesting concluding paragraph; return to the essay topic and show how you have addressed it 4. A list of references (on a separate page) 5. Your word count does not include your reference list or direct quotes. Think about the concepts introduced in the unit • Social groups – ethnicity, gender, class, etc. • Social institutions – housing, religion, family, etc. • Social constructionism as a way of thinking about the issues • Structure and agency: To what extent do people have ‘choice’ • Victim blaming, medicalisation, iatrogenesis, social control, etc. Write an essay that: 1. Identifies and defines relevant sociological concepts for analyzing the health issue/ case study; 2. Describes and critically analyses the health issue/ case study from a sociological perspective; 3. Briefly describes how the sociological approach you have used differs from a typical medical science approach to the issue; and 4. Briefly describes why it is useful for health care workers to be aware of sociological perspectives on this health issue/ case study. Marking Criteria: Some useful words • Words and phrases that help to develop anargument: • Words and phrases that help to develop to redirect or clarify an argument: Essay Sample For Example (Not related this case study): 1. Writing an Introduction This essay discusses the newspaper article ‘Gen Fat’ (Betts, 2011, p. 1, 6) showing how meanings of obesity are conveyed to readers. It then applies a sociological approach to the problem of obesity, arguing that we require an understanding of how illnesses are distributed, produced and given meaning in our contemporary society. Sociological concepts such as victim blaming, medicalization and iatrogenesis demonstrate that sociological knowledge can deepen health workers’ capacity to critically evaluate media coverage of issues such as obesity. Thus, it is important for health care workers to be aware of media coverage about obesity and apply a sociological perspective to issues in the media. This introduction provides a clear statement about what is to be covered in the essay 2. Writing in paragraphs • The body of the essay comprises paragraphs or units of meaning, as shown in the sample introduction. Each paragraph is like a mini essay of one idea. • One or two sentences do not constitute a paragraph • All paragraphs require a topic sentence. For example, if you are discussing social class, your paragraph would begin with a Topic Sentence, indicating your line of thought about this issue. For example, your topic sentence might be as follows: – Sociologists claim that social class is a major determinant of health outcomes. Now, expand or elaborate the point with supporting evidence to support the idea, using sources. 3. Writing a conclusion The article by Betts (2011) is illustrative of contemporary discourses about childhood obesity. By examining how meanings are constructed we can see how the media shape meanings about the health issue, particularly through the use of language. Taking a social construction approach turns our attention to the unequal distribution of obesity, the social factors that are implicated in causing obesity, and the meanings that we give to health problems. Concepts such as medicalisation, victim blaming and iatrogenesis can assist health workers in critically examining the claims that are made in the media about this health issue. The conclusion is a summary of the essay – the key points and arguments are reemphasized. Importantly, no new points are introduced, but you can indicate future directions.