Mills, C. Wright
, “The Promise of Sociology,” Chapter 2 in Adler & Adler.
Social context framing people and their actions is significant
We sometimes overlook the role of larger historical and institutional factors affecting our
situations, failing to recognize the connection between tangible, micro level of how
people act in everyday life and the invisible forces containing social trends and structures.
Learning to recognize those forces are the challenge he proposes
Enriching yet frightening to discover the role of the broader sweeps of history that guide
and constrain us, we ourselves as small parts of the larger microcosm
Troubles- occur within our own character (private matter) vs. issues- have to do with
matters that transcend these local governments (public matter)
Putnam, Robert D
., “Bowling Alone,” chapter 44 in Adler & Adler.
Concern of community based on decline of social institutions and activities (church,
family, labor unions, civil and political engagement, frats, service clubs, parent teacher
associations) through which Americans traditionally fused together and created the fabric
of community life.
Social capital and its consequences erosion in good neighborliness and social trust
Fears that there is a lack of community involvement of Americans
, Paul, “Three Sociological Perspectives,” Chapter 4 in Adler & Adler
Three perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interaction
All three theories have contributed a great deal in understanding human behavior and
Macro theories: functionalism, conflict theory (social structure that operates to determine
Micro theories: symbolic interaction (social interaction and how people act in a face to
face meeting with one another)
United Nations. 2008.
Human Development Report: Fighting
Solidarity in a Divided World
(Summary). (available online) Read pages 1-12.
Climate change is a big problem that effects the poor and the future generations
. 1999. “Inequality in earnings at the close of the twentieth
Annual Review of Sociology
25:623-657 (available online) Read pages 623-628.
Median income in the United States has stagnated and the distribution of income grown
markedly more unequal over the past three decades, reversing a general pattern marked
by earnings growth and equalization dating back to 1929.
Earnings trends played a major role in the last two presidential campaigns, generating the
ironic spectacle of Republican candidates raising the issue of income and jobs as one of
their primary campaign themes.