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all notes maybe.doc - Sociology 2501 notes CHAPTER 1...

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Unformatted text preview: Sociology 2501 notes CHAPTER 1 Sociological Imagination A.K.A. – sociological perspective Coined by Sociologist C. Wright Mills (1959) Is the ability to . . . Connect “ personal troubles” to public issues Shift focus to the larger social context of the social forces that shapes people’s behavior and attitudes This context encompasses historical periods, broad events, and social locations social locations = the narrower factors that influence our lives, i.e. age, health, neighborhood What is a Social Problem? It is a . . . Objective condition – can be measured or experienced Subjective concern - that a significant number of people (or a number of significant people) have regarding the issue Dynamic – changes with society Relative – what one considers to be a social problem depends on one’s values The Natural History of Social Problems First Stage Defining the Problem – people have to become upset about an objective condition Shift in outlook Emergence of Leaders – those in power who feel most strongly about the issue will come forward Organizing Around the Issue – those who are against the issue begin to come forward Second Stage 1 Crafting an Official Response – defining the problem and officially responding to it can become combined Third Stage Reacting to the Official Response – sometimes the official response to the social problem can become a social problem The official response can change the definition of the social problem Fourth Stage Developing Alternative Strategies – come up with new ways to promote their “side” (radical protests, pamphlets, etc) Part of this includes making the “other side” look like the bad guy The Role of Sociology in Social Problems 5 Contributions of Sociology to Understanding Social Problems: Sociologists can measure objective conditions Sociologists can measure subjective concerns Sociologists can apply the sociological imagination Sociologists can ID different ways to intervene in a social problem Sociologists can evaluate likely consequences of social policies Sociology v. Common Sense What’s wrong with using common sense to define whether something is a social problem? In Sociology: We use the scientific method Don’t base conclusions on emotion or personal values Use the sociological imagination 2 Limitation = can’t determine what social policies should be followed!...
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This note was uploaded on 05/10/2010 for the course SOCL 2501 taught by Professor Simpson during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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all notes maybe.doc - Sociology 2501 notes CHAPTER 1...

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