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Unformatted text preview: The Project of Sociology
Soc 3AC, Spring 2008 Contributions of Sociological Contributions Knowledge Knowledge C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination locates a person, a group, an institution, a people and their experience in social space and historical time. Achieve a better understanding of the reasons for human action, its meanings, implications, and the possibilities for change or alternatives. Empirical Observation Human beliefs often conflict with empirical reality. Beliefs may be partially accurate or distort realities. Beliefs may be selfinterested, strategic, and protective, or reflect limited or inadequate knowledge. Sociology, like other modes of rational inquiry into human experience, seeks to gather complete and accurate information, to challenge and evaluate beliefs. Moral Dimension Sociology helps humans and societies evaluate their reality with their ideals, aspirations, and social norms and values. Analytical Enterprise Seek explanations for phenomena and events in terms of antecedent (prior) and ambient (contextual) social factors. To answer WHY questions, discover influence, causality, and processes linked to an outcome of interest. Causes and Relationships X (factor) Y (outcome) Self (selves) society
(which aspects of person) (which features of society) society self (individuals) Points out Limits of Personal Points Will and Discretion Will in our Socially Constrained Action and Thinking How much autonomy do we have in our lives? How much control over our actions? How are we subject to social influence and how can we not know it? How much freedom do we have, as individuals and as members of groups? The Tank Man What happened to “social order” in China in 1989? Why did the man in the white shirt do what he did? Courage Folly Personal quality Historical moment The Red Pill or the Blue? What is the choice that Morpheus offers Neo in The Matrix? What is revealed in taking the red pill? The Choice ...
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- Spring '06