The sociological Imagination

The sociological Imagination - The Sociological Imagination...

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Unformatted text preview: The Sociological Imagination: The Sociological Imagination: Critical Distance Critical Distance Given the abundant sources of diversity, how can we understand society despite the differences between us and the phenomena we attempt to study? Sociological imagination The way we imagined the scenario described in the vignette - growing up under completely different circumstances- you might have felt the stirring of the Sociological Imagination . Sociological Imagination requires critical distance , ie: Being able to detach from our particular circumstances and view things with a critical mind Not taking things for granted The Sociological Imagination: The Sociological Imagination: Critical Distance Critical Distance George Simmel (1858-1918) wrote about the role of strangers in social groups (which help establish critical distance) Strangers have a position both inside & outside social groups They are part of a group without necessarily sharing the group ’ s assumptions & points of view Sociological perspective requires a combination of nearness & distance One must have enough critical distance to avoid being taken in by the group ’ s definition of the situation, but be near enough to understand the group ’ s experience The Sociological Imagination: The Sociological Imagination: Critical Distance Critical Distance Marginal people ( ie those who share the dominant culture to some extent but are blocked from full participation because of their social status - eg racial minority in a racist society ) may find it easier to establish the critical distance necessary for sociological imagination because they are less likely to share the group ’ s assumptions, especially those related to the structure of society that produces their marginalised conditions (eg assumptions held in a certain society that support racial segregation) However, you don ’ t have to be marginal to acquire the sociological imagination You can acquire critical distance through willingness to question the forces that shape social behaviour C.W. Mills C.W. Mills ’ The Sociological Imagination The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills (1916-1962): One of the first to write about Sociological Imagination ....
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2012 for the course SOCIOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Cheunge. during the Fall '11 term at University of Macau.

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The sociological Imagination - The Sociological Imagination...

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