Sociology is a subject of enormous scale and scope. The use of the sociological imagination enables us to move beyond the assumption that our own experiences are the whole story about social life. The text points to five ways in which coffee drinking can be viewed afresh if we ‘think ourselves away’ from the ‘immediacy of personal circumstances’. C. Wright Mills coined the terms ‘public issues’ and ‘private troubles’ to illustrate the connection between the freely willed actions of the individual and the patterning effect of social structure. The text emphasizes the interrelationship between individual behaviour and the patterning effects of social institutions, and introduces the term ‘structuration’ to describe this ongoing process of reconstruction. Sociology relies on a ‘canon’ of key thinkers and some common themes which link contemporary sociology with its roots in the twin revolutions of the revolutions century. Three timeless questions are: (a) what is human nature? (b) why is society
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