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Key Concepts: Exam 1●The sociological imagination (what is it? What does it explain?) ○C. Wright Mills ○The ability to grasp the relationship between individual lives and the larger social forces that help to shape them ○Importance: Explains the connection between single life experiences and social forces ○Goal: grasping the intersection between self and society, and understanding the soial era in which we are living ●Agency & structure (how to they influence each other?) ○Question: Are we free to act as we please, or are we shaped and governed by structures? ○Agency: the ability of individuals and groups to excercise free will and to make social changes on a small or large scale ○Structure: patterned social arrangements that have effects on agency, may be able to constrain or enable social action ○Agency + structure = structuration ○Structuration: brings together agency and structure, structure equals the interaction between structure and agency ○Agency itself can transform structures ●Culture & symbols (know difference between ideal & real culture and how this relates to cultural inconsistencies --- know major symbols used to communicate (verbal & nonverbal) ○Ideal culture: the values, norms, and behaviors that people in a society profess to embrace, even though the actions of the society may often contradict them ○Real culture: the values, norms, and behaviors that people in a given society actually embrace and exhibit ○Cultural inconsistancy: a contradiction betweeden the goals of ideal culture and the practices of real culture ○Symbols: cultural representations of social realities, representations of things that are not immediately present to our senses ■Examples: Letters, words, images, rituals, or actions ■Languge: a symbolic system, composed of verbal, and nonverbal, and sometimes written representations that are vehicoles for conveying meaning ■Importance: enables communication, illuminates beliefs and practices, roots a community in its enviornment, contributes to the cultural richness of ourworld
●Beliefs, norms, values, mores, taboos, laws (what are they? How do they relate to each other?)