Unformatted text preview: DoD photo by: A1C RACHEL E. WALTERS, USAF T he Sociological I magination Sociology Sociology
the study of human behaviors as they are affected by social interactions within groups, organizations, societies, and the planet. Social interaction Social
everyday events in which the people involved 1. take one another into account 2. consciously and unconsciously attach meaning to the situation, 3. interpret what others are saying and doing, and then respond accordingly. There is a syste to social interaction; m syste That is, the interaction is not chaotic. Why? Because rules (often unspoken) guide the way people interpret the situation and behave toward one another. To understand how sociologists view social interaction, we can draw an analogy to games such as baseball. DoD photo by: MC2 RON TREVINO, USN L ikewise there are rules in place governing how people relate to one another depending on the situation. The rules were in place long before any of the “players” arrived on the scene. DoD photo by: SFC ERWIN ORBE, USA We are more aware of the rules that are in place when they are different from the rules we follow. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes “All that is left for us to do . . . is to play our part with more or less enthusiasm” (Berger 1963). Social facts are ideas, feelings, and ways of behaving “that possess the remarkable property of existing outside the consciousness of the individual.” From the time consciousness we are born, the people around us seek to impose impose upon us ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that we had no hand in creating (page 7). no Social Fact: I n the Social United States holding hands with a same-sex adult is viewed as only a sign of homosexuality. Social Fact: I n the United States a Social parent and his or her offspring can be classified as a different race. Social Fact: Facial and Social body hair on women is considered a masculine trait. Social Fact: U.S. norms specify that women remove hair from…
Cheeks Underarms Breasts Abdomen Pubic area and bikini line Legs Toes T highs Eyebrows Above the lip Chin Arms and hands to distinguish themselves from men. I f you had the chance to re-invent ideas about what constitutes femininity, would you support “removing hair from almost every area of the female body” as a measure of femininity? “The fascination of sociology lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives…It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this-things are not what they seem” p. 3. Sociologists, by the very logic of discipline, are driven to debunk the social systems they study. debunk One should not mistake this drive as being located in a sociologist’s temperament or personal inclination. A part from the discipline, a sociologist may be of “conciliatory disposition and quite disinclined to disturb the comfortable assumptions on which he rests his own social existence” p. 7. REP LA CE WIT H PH OT O OF BUS H, PA GE 8 Sociologists do not just see President George W. Bush holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Instead, they ask, Why is hand holding by adults of the same sex prohibited in the United States but not in many other countries? Sociologists do not just see an Iraqi child watching an U.S. soldier. I nstead they ask: What does it mean for the United States to occupy a country where 40 percent of the population is 14 or younger? How will they process that experience?
DoD photo by Third Army/ARCENT/CFLCC Sociologists do not just see a duck sitting on a nest made in part from litter. Instead they ask: What are the environmental effects of 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags, which can take hundreds of years to decompose, used each year to cart home groceries and other products? What percentage of the bags end up in creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and Thue Janus Kristensen oceans? DoD photo by: SGT. ANDRE' REY NOLDS Sociologists do not just see an Afghan father with his two sons and a Japanese father with his daughter. Instead they ask: “How do life chances vary from one country to another?” More specifically, what are the chances of surviving the first five years of life in Japan and A fghanistan? DoD photo by JO1 Lynn Jenkins The logic of sociology presupposes a measure of “suspicion about the way in which human events are officially interpreted by the authorities, be they political, juridical or religious in character” p. 3. Sociologists ask, “By what means is it all held together?” ...
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- Spring '09
- Sociology, DoD photo