Unformatted text preview: FAQ The Sociological Imagination
DSOC 101 January 26, 2009 Reading assignments Writing Assignments Exams MultipleMultiple-choice & short answer 80% reading & 20% lecture Tips on how to prepare ExtraExtra-credit (max. 20 points/5 points ea.) Section grade Attendance & participation Weekly response paper
2 What is Sociology? Socius Logus: Study of Society So what does that mean? What is Sociology?
Political Science Study of the social environment Study of how social processes can shape us and how individuals can shape social processes As opposed to: Psychology: Study of psychological processes Natural Sciences: Study of natural processes
3 Anthropology History Sociology Economics Psychology Geography 1 What is Sociology? Social Relationships Sociologists have given different answers to this question, arguing that sociology is: The study of groups of individuals or individuals in groups The study of group or collective behavior The study of the interaction of individuals The study of social relationships The structured patterns of social interactions Social structure: the relatively enduring patterns of social relationships that exist between positions in society Social institutions: patterned practices established to deal with ongoing situations Social structure is reproduced (and sometimes transformed) through social institutions Often have a physical basis: e.g., a university; but not always: e.g., a handshake Social institutions serve to socialize and integrate individuals into a society In this class, our central focus will be on social relationships More dependent upon the social relationships involved and other situational factors, than the character or personality traits attributed to the individual Examples: Parent and child, husband and wife, worker and boss, professor and student, etc. 5 6 Sociology is a way of seeing...
The Columbine Shootings Psychology Social Relationships Sociology of Columbine Bullying Relationships: established by different positions within society Harris and Kiebold were psychologically unstable Depression Harris and Kiebold had a chemical imbalance Raging hormones Social status/Power Gun culture Access to guns Access to bomb instructions Violent culture From birth, individuals enter into relationships, based on their relative position to others, that were not of their choosing g Children & Parents, siblings and other blood relations, friends and acquaintances, student & teacher, employer & employee Biology Examples Larger trend of school violence 8 2 Social Interaction The Sociological Imagination Patterns of interaction between individuals: Structured by the social relationships established by the positions held by the participants (Also structured by history of previous interactions, biography, and the larger socio-historical context) bi h d h l socio-hi i l i ) Individuals interact through the use of meaningful or significant symbols C. Wright Mills
9 19161916-1962 10 The Sociological Imagination The Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills describes the sociological imagination as
the ability to view one's y society as an outsider would, without one's limited experiences and cultural biases C. Wright Mills coined the term "sociological imagination" to refer to "...the vivid awareness ...the of the relationship between private experience and the wider society." An awareness of the a a e ess o t e relationship between an individual and the wider society, and... C. Wright Mills
11 12 3 History and Biography The Sociological Imagination The task of sociology is to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society The sociological imagination is the ability to see the societal patterns that influence individuals families, individuals, families groups, and organizations. Understanding one's own experiences in life (biography) through an awareness of these larger societal patterns (history) and the shared, common fate with those in similar circumstances
13 History Public Policy You Institutions Culture The Imagination of Mills Developing a Sociological Imagination Mills distinguished between personal troubles of milieu and public issues of social structure.
Personal Troubles - occur within the character and biography of the individual and their immediate environment; a seemingly private experience Public Issues - transcend the local environment of the individual and are linked to the institutional and historical arrangements of social structure. Look beyond the personal environment and question take-for-granted social structures. take-forBe willing to question the structural arrangements that shape social behavior. See the causes and solutions to social problems not in terms of the individual, but in the structures in society. 15 16 4 Response Paper A Look Ahead How did sociology develop? In what ways does sociology differ from other social sciences? Who are the field's pioneers? What are the main theoretical perspectives? Due in section next week Developing your sociological imagination Intersection between history and biography Assignment:
Review local newspaper headlines on your date of birth Explain the impact of these social events on who you are (1-2 pages). (1 Complete instructions posted by 11 p.m. 17 18 5 ...
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