Intro Soc Paper Modernity

Intro Soc Paper Modernity - Journey to Modernity In Peter...

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Journey to Modernity In Peter Berger’s “Invitation to Sociology” and C. Wright Mills’s “The Sociological Imagination” both authors make the assessment that history and biography are closely interrelated. According to Berger and Mills, the lives of people are heavily influenced by the historical and social happenings of the time, and the decisions they make are based on their historical context. In addition, society and history are made up of the many decisions that individuals and groups make. Mills clearly states “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both,” (Mills 3). To show the relation between history and the individual, let us consider the life of Lucia Pinto. Born into a country of traditional values in a time of economic hardship, Lucia Pinto slowly realized that she was unhappy in her situation and could only obtain the life she dreamt of by changing her surroundings. Lucia Pinto was born Lucia Campos on October 12, 1960, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she was the youngest of eleven children. Her father was a market vendor, while her mother stayed at home to take care of the children and perform all the domestic chores. The traditional patriarchal family was a social norm in Brazil during this time period. Women lived at home until they were married, and once they were married they were discouraged from working. A woman’s place was in the home, and her job was to cook, clean, and bear children. At a very young age Lucia began to perceive these traditional gender roles and restrictions as absurd. Why couldn’t a woman work if she wanted to? Why did men make all the important decisions? Lucia would notice how unhappy her mother was, and how suffocated she felt amidst the societal norms. Lucia desperately
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Pinto hoped that by the time she was an adult Brazilian society would change enough so that she could lead a life of her own choice and design. Poverty was also an issue in Lucia Pinto’s life. Her birth year, 1960, coincided with the Brazilian government’s decision to move the country’s capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia. Many of Brazil’s social and economic problems had already been exacerbated by the rapid urbanization that took place after World War II, and this new project funded by borrowed money managed to damage the economy even more (Godfrey 18). Around the same time there were also many housing shortages in the major cities of Brazil. Favelas, the Brazilian word for the concentrated shantytowns and slums, soon became common sites. While Lucia Pinto did not actually live in the favelas, she was a part of the lower class, and the country’s economic situation affected her daily life. She saw the favelas on a regular basis, and the mass poverty in Brazil angered her. And sometimes her socioeconomic situation made her ashamed.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SO SO100 taught by Professor Demetriou during the Fall '06 term at BU.

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Intro Soc Paper Modernity - Journey to Modernity In Peter...

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