Sociology Textbook Notes.docx - THE SOCIOLOGICAL...

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THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION - Many ideas on how we are all connected to each other and societies we live in Sociological Imagination - How much we are able to think about experiences as personal problems - Ex. Debt from student loans, inability to form rewarding romantic relationships, unemployment (think low of themselves) o Issues shared by others in a different location and time as us - C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) o “the sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the 2 within society” - Our opportunities and potentials are always influenced by the inequalities and injustices (lack of fairness) we encounter - Provide tools to navigate worlds more effectively in pursuit of goals we have for ourselves - Ask questions and seek answers about social worlds we live in Looking Through a Sociological Lens - While growing up with a specific idea in mind, we have assumptions on how they are expected/meant to be - E.g. marriage o Lifelong commitment o Different societies => only sometimes a lifelong commitment - Sociological imagination shows that diversity of intimate relationships is possible STEREOTYPES - Making faulty generalizations about individuals based on what we think we know about the groups they are members of - Ex. Some people think that older individuals are not as good workers as younger people o YES: we become too old to perform jobs we’ve done for many years o NO: does not mean we are incapable because of our age - A sociological imagination, challenges stereotypes by raising questions about where they come from, what they are based on, who stands to benefit from them, and why they are harmful
Engaging our Sociological Imaginations: From Personal Puzzles to Sociological Questions - Observing the world with deeper and more meaningful questions to learn and understand societies on a deeper level - We cannot accept easily available answers - **situation that triggers our sociological imagination occurs when we see that some kind of assumption, we have long taken for granted is incorrect - Think critically about “common sense” => very useful - Aphorisms => short phrases stating the truth or opinion: “look before you leap”, “birds of a feather flock together” - Almost all common-sense aphorisms, makes sense in some contexts but not others - Once we learn to not take stereotypes and common-sense knowledge for granted, we can begin to ask questions => sociological imagination Sociological Questions: A Detailed Example - Student debt in Canada is way lower than united states o 2009 = graduate US seniors owed $24,000 of student loan o 2012 = medium student loan debt in Canada is $10,000 o Those who take loans from federal student loan program graduated with an average debt of $28,495 - Sociological questions range widely from the basic units of life to the groups and organizations we are apart of, up until to a now changing economy that is impacting our social relationships The Endless Reach of the Sociological Imagination - In many different cases, sociologists pick a way of asking questions and a

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