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1. Appliedand clinical sociologyuse the discipline of sociology to solve practical problems in human behavior and organizations. In contrast, basic sociologyis sociological inquiry that seeks only a deeper knowledge of the fundamental aspects of human phenomena. 2. This textbook makes use of the sociological imagination by showing theory in practice and in current research: by thinking globally; by focusing on the significance of social inequality; by speaking across racial, gender, and religious boundaries; and by highlighting social policy around the world. Thinking Critically 1. What issues facing your local community would you
like to address with applied sociological research? Do you see any global connections to these issues? 2. In what specific ways does globalization affect your everyday life? Do you think the impact of globalization is primarily positive or negative? Key Terms Applied sociology 20 Basic sociology 20 Clinical sociology 20 Globalization 21 Social inequality 22 sociologists seek to draw conclusions that speak to all people—not just the affluent or powerful. Doing so is not always easy. Insights into how a corporation can increase its profits tend to attract more attention and financial support than do, say, the merits of a needle exchange program for low-income inner-city residents. Yet today more than ever, sociology seeks to better understand the experiences of all people. Sociologists have noted, for example, that the huge tsunami that hit South Asia in 2004 affected men and women differently. When the waves hit, mothers and grandmothers were at home with the children; men were outside working, where they were more likely to become aware of the impending disaster. More-over, most of the men knew how to swim, a survival skill that women in these traditional societies usually do not learn. As a result, many more men than women survived the catastrophe—about 10 men for every woman. In one Indonesian village typical of the disaster area, 97 of 1,300 people survived; only 4 were women. The impact of this gender imbalance will be felt for some time, given women’s primary role as caregivers for chil-dren and the elderly (BBC News 2005). Social Policy throughout the World One important way we can use a sociological imagination is to enhance our understanding of current social issues throughout the world. Approximately one-third of the modules in this book include a discussion of a contemporary social policy issue. In some cases, we will examine a specific issue facing national governments. For example, government funding of child care centers will be discussed in Module 15, Agents of Socializa-tion; global immigration in Module 33, Race and Ethnicity in the United States; and religion in the schools in Module 46, Reli-gious Organizations. These Social Policy sections will demon-strate how fundamental sociological concepts can enhance our critical thinking skills and help us to better understand current public policy debates taking place around the world.