Seeing the Social World in A New Light

Seeing the Social World in A New Light - Seeing the Social...

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The average person lives too narrow a life to get a clear and concise understanding of today’s complex social world. Our daily lives are spent among friends and family; at work and at play. We spend many hours watching TV and surfing the Internet. No way can one person grasp the big picture from their relatively isolated lives. There are thousands of communities, millions of interpersonal interactions, billions of Internet information sources, and countless trends that transpire without many of us even knowing they exist. What can we do to make sense of it all? When I learned of the sociological imagination by Mills, I realized that it gives us a framework for understanding our social world that far surpasses any common sense notion we might derive from our limited social experiences. C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) was a contemporary sociologist who brought tremendous insight into the daily lives of society’s members. Mills stated that “neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both" (Mills, C. W. 1959. The Sociological Imagination page ii; Oxford U. Press). Mills identified “Troubles” (personal challenges) and "Issues" (Larger social challenges) that are key principles for providing us with a framework for really wrapping our minds around many of the hidden social processes that transpire in an almost invisible manner in today’s societies. Before we discuss personal troubles and larger social issues let’s define a social fact. Social Facts are social processes rooted in society rather than in the individual. Émile Durkheim
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Seeing the Social World in A New Light - Seeing the Social...

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