Soc 277: Assignment #2 1. Some people accuse sociologists of observing conditions that are obvious. How does looking at sociology as “making the familiar strange” help counter this claim? How does sociology differ from simple commonsense reasoning? Sociologists may appear to study conditions that are obvious, but by making the familiar strange, they are able to move beyond commonsense reasoning and use evidence to really understand a topic. For example, students will say that they plan to marry for love, but society narrows the field; they are more likely to marry individuals of the same race, ethnicity, age, educational attainment and social class. Making the familiar unfamiliar also helps to explain how society shapes our lives. Sociologists ask questions about those influences outside the control of individuals. A sociologist will look at evidence and external factors that might influence a person’s decision rather than accepting commonsense answers. 2. What is the sociological imagination, and how do history and personal biography affect it? If a sociologist studies the challenges experienced by students earning a college degree, how could the lessons gained be described as “terrible” as well as “magnificent”?
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- Spring '19