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Unformatted text preview: vidual and society
(e.g., To do this you must identify the structures
that shape society and individual action. Seeks to understand social life through
interpretation and does not treat its area
of study as an ‘object’ like natural science
of It rejects instrumental rationality and inquiry
for the sake of outcomes, goals or control
for Such an imagination allows for
three sorts of questions:
1.What is the structure of this
particular society as a whole?
2.Where does this society stand
in human history?
3.What varieties of men and
women prevail in this society
and in this period?
and Okay, you’re thinking, I can sort of wrap
my head around that concept. But I’m no
social scientist; how does the sociological
imagination help me understand my world
on a day-to-day basis?
-A fair question; for a useful demonstration,
let’s try an example:
let’s The Sociological Imagination Applied
The What can we say, from a sociological point of
view, about drinking a cup of coffee?
view, Drinking coffee has symbolic value.
symbolic You arrange ‘to have coffee’ which is about
meeting and chatting; it is a social ritual rather
than a dietary one.
What does this ritual tell us about our social
structure, our place in a historical context, or
the varieties of men and women prevalent in
And symbolically, what does the coffee you
drink or where you choose to drink it, say
What does it mean to drink Folger’s? Dunkin’
Donuts? At a Starbucks? At some indie
roaster’s cafe? What about the fact that coffee is a drug?
drug Even though we do not think of coffee as
a drug and coffee drinkers as drug
addicts, caffeine is in fact a drug, and
there are more ‘coffee addicts’ than...
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- Spring '08