What is the social construction of reality?

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Lecture 1: Introduction What is the social construction of reality?
What is the sociological imagination?
How can we study the drinking of coffee sociologically?
2. Use as a drug
3. Social and economic relationships
4. Past social and economic development
- Ex. Married adults are less likely to commit suicide than unmarried adults because marriage creates social ties Values : Ideas about what is good and bad, right and wrong Theory : A tentative explanation of some aspect of social life that states how and why certain facts are related Durkheim's theory of suicide - States that the suicide rate declines and then rises as social solidarity increases - Altruistic suicide : Occurs in settings that exhibit very high levels of social solidarity, according to Durkheim; high levels of social solidarity = norms tightly governing behaviour - Egoistic suicide : Results from poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties to others, according to Durkheim - Anomic suicide : Occurs in settings that exhibit low levels of social solidarity, according to Durkheim; results from vaguely defined norms governing behaviour Social structures : Relatively stable patterns of social interaction Sociological imagination : The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures; C. Wright Mills - An important step in broadening our awareness involves recognizing that three levels of social structure surround and permeate us; consider these levels as concentric circles radiating outwards 1. Microstructure : Patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction - Ex. Family, friend circles, work associations 2. Macrostructure : Patterns of social relations that lie outside and

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