readings guide - 1. Mills, C. Wright, The Promise of...

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1. 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 - Sociological imagination - Troubles- occur within our own character (private matter) vs. issues- have to do with matters that transcend these local governments (public matter) 2. 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 3. Colomy , 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 group life - Macro theories: functionalism, conflict theory (social structure that operates to determine peoples behavior) - Micro theories: symbolic interaction (social interaction and how people act in a face to face meeting with one another) 4. United Nations. 2008. Human Development Report: Fighting Climate Change , Human 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 5. . 1999. “Inequality in earnings at the close of the twentieth century.” 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.
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- Trends: earnings ga[: gender, race, poverty Continued to focus on the question of how people are allocated to positions in the earnings distribution rather than the structure of those positions - Paper reviewed major changes in earnings inequality and debates about the causes and consequences of these changes
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readings guide - 1. Mills, C. Wright, The Promise of...

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