Week 3.pdf

24 views9 pages
Published on 20 Nov 2012
Department
Course
Professor
SOCY122
Weekthree
September24to28,2012
C.WrightMillsand
TheSociologicalImagination
Therequiredreadingsforthisweekare“TheSociologicalImagination”(pp.2962)inThePromiseofSociology
andtheentries“Mills,C.Wright,”and“SociologicalImagination,”(pp.406and59899)inTheConcise
EncyclopediaofSociology.
SuggestedSupplementaryReading:C.WrightMills,“ThePromise.”Pp.324inTheSociologicalImagination.
NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1959;orpp.112inIntersectionsReadingsinSociology’sTaskandPromise,
editedbyRobBeamish,Boston:PearsonPress,2005(onreserveinStaufferLibrary);oronthecourseMoodle
site.
C.WrightMills,“OnIntellectualCraftsmanship.”Pp.195226inTheSociologicalImagination.NewYork:Oxford
UniversityPress,1959;orC.WrightMills,“OnIntellectualCraftsmanship”oronthecourseMoodlesite.
“CriticalTheory/TheFrankfurtSchool,”(pp.1024)inTheConciseEncyclopediaofSociology.
Note:Youarenowreadytobeginthefirstessayassignment(dueOctober19,2012).
Therearefiveoverallobjectivesthatthisweek’sreadingsaredesignedtoachieve:
1. todrawstudents’attentiontothewaytheynormallythinkabouttheworldaroundthemfrom
theperspectiveof“theI,”usingthe“naturalattitude”anddrawingupontheir“everydaystocksof
knowledge;”
2. tocontinuetobuildstudents’sociologicalvocabularybyintroducingthemtosomeadditionalkey
termsinsociology;
3. tointroducestudents,generally,tothe“sociologicalframeofreference;”
4. morespecifically,tointroducestudentstoandfamiliarizethemwithC.WrightMills’sconceptionof
“thesociologicalimagination,”itskeyelements,andbegintodemonstrateitsstrengthsinthe
analysisofPsychoamoviethatseemstobepurelyapsychologicalthriller;
5. toexplorethenotionof“intellectualcraftsmanship.”
Thespecificlearningobjectivesforthereadingsare:
todrawstudents’attentiontothedifferencebetween“thenaturalattitude”andthe“everyday
stocksofknowledge”withwhichpeoplegenerallyapproachtheworldaroundthemandamore
systematic,sociologicalperspective;
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
IfyouchoosetoreadMills’s“ThePromise,”don’ttrytoreadittoocloselyorcarefullybutdon’t
readitinattentivelyeither.Asyoureadthechapter,useapenciltomark,withaverticallineinthe
margin,passagesorideasthatyouthinkarecriticaltoMills’sargument.Seewhatyouwouldpick
outasmostimportant.Thechapterwillprovideageneralframeworkforallofthematerialthatyou
willcoverinthecourse.
Withrespecttochaptertwointhecoursetext,thematerialyouwillreadbreaksdownintosix
sections;whiletheyareallimportantintermsofdevelopingtheargumentinthetext,someare
therelargelytoprovidecontextforothersectionsthataremuchmoreimportant.Asaresult,as
youreadthroughthechapter,youneedtopaygreaterattentiontosomesectionsthanothers.
Readpages29to34attentivelybutdon’tunderlineanythingortrytomemorizeanyofit.Thekey
conceptsare“everydaystocksofknowledge,”“thenaturalattitude,”andthe“webofsocial
todrawstudents’attentiontoaneventwithwhichtheyarenewlyfamiliarthelecturesetting
andthewayinwhichitcoulddrawthemintothinkingabouttheexperiencemoresociologically;
tointroducestudentstoC.WrightMillsandhisconceptionof“thesociologicalimagination”and
considerthesociologicalimagination’smainfeaturessothatstudentscanidentify,explain,anduse
theconceptionintheanalysisofasocialsituationorevent;
touseAlfredHitchcock’sPsychoasavehicleforexplainingandexploringthemainfeaturesof
Mills’sconceptionofthesociologicalimaginationsothatstudentscanbegintoseehowa
sociologistwouldemploythesociologicalimaginationtoaspecificproblem,issue,event,or
situation;
tofamiliarizestudentswiththethreekeyquestionsthatarecentraltoMills’ssociological
imagination;
tointroducestudentstotheimportantdistinctionMillsmakesbetween“personaltroublesof
milieu”and“publicissuesofsocialstructure”aswellastheimportanceofeachforsociology;
toexaminethefiveessentialcomponentsofMills’sconceptionsof“intellectualcraftsmanship;”
toemphasizewhatisinvolvedinMills’sconceptionofsocialcommitment.
YoumightwishtoreadthroughallthematerialonMillsandthesociologicalimaginationinThePromiseof
Sociologyatonetimeandthenworkthroughitinthreeorfourspecificsessions(Ihavesuggestedthree
sessionsbelow).YoumayreadthetwoentriesfromTheConciseEncyclopediaafteryouhavedealtwiththe
materialinthemaintextandworkwithitinaseparateworkingsession.TheentryonMillswillconsolidate
someofthematerialdiscussedinthetextaswilltheentryonthesociologicalimagination.
Reading/WorkingSession1
TheSociologicalImagination
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
affiliation.Thematerialintroducesasituationthatmoststudentscanrelatetoveryquicklyto
demonstratehoweventhemostprivate,innerfearsorapprehensionspeopleexperiencearetied
tosocialrelationshipsthereisalevelofrealityandanalysisthatextendsbeyondthepsychological
andthatistherealmofanalysisthatsociologistsfocuson.Asaresult,oneneedsmorethana
personalperspectivetofullygraspandappreciatethefearsandanxietiesthatpeoplefeel.One
needsabroaderperspectiveonethatcanexaminethesocialbasisforthoseprivatefeelingsor
thedominantindividualisticperspectivewe“naturally”adoptwhenwefirstsurveytheworldin
whichwelive.Atthispoint,turntoThePromiseofSociologyandreadpages29to34andthen
returntothereading/studyguide.
Thematerialcoveredonpages34to43demandsmoreattention.Theearliermaterialsetthestage
forthissectionthemainobjectiveforthischapterintroducingthemainfeaturesofC.Wright
Mills’sconceptionof“thesociologicalimagination.”
AlfredHitchcock’sPsychoprovidesanunexpected,somewhatunusual,yetextremelyhelpfulfocal
pointfordemonstratingthemainaspectsofMills’sconception.TheconnectionbetweenMillsand
thesociologicalimaginationbeginsattheveryoutsetofthemoviethepanacrossPhoenix,
Arizonaandthemovementfromthebroadperspectivetotheupclose,personaltroublesof
MarionandSam.Thefirstphrasethatbeginstocapturethemeaningofthesociological
imaginationis“theintersectionofpersonalbiographywiththehistoryofsocialstructure”andthe
opening,oneminutesceneinPsychoshowsthebroadstructureofPhoenixandzeroesinonthe
privatelivesofMarionandSamthatimageshouldremindyouofthemostelementaryfeatureof
Mills’sconception.
Thematerialonpages35and36indicatesthattherewerefivemainobjectivesbehindthewriting
ofTheSociologicalImagination;noteeachoftheminthemarginasyoucometothem.Objectives
1,2,and5remainparticularlyimportantforthiscourse.
Pages37to43coverthemainfeaturesofthesociologicalimaginationincludingexactlywhatMills
meantby“imagination”andusesPsychotoillustrateeachofthem.Thissectionofthechapter
revealsthatPsychocanbeappreciatedatthreedifferentlevels.
First,andmostobviously,Psychowasamassmarketentertainmentpiecethatmostaudiences
wouldviewandconsumeasapsychologicalthriller.ButthediscussioninthissectionofThe
PromiseofSociologyshowsthatasecondlevelofreadingasociologicalonecanbringout
aspectsofthefilmthatthefirstlevel,psychologicalappreciationwouldnot.
Mills(1959)arguedthattofullyunderstandandchangetheworld,oneneedstograsp“the
interplayofmanandsociety,ofbiographyandsociety,ofselfandworld”(p.5).Oneneedsto
acquireandemploythesociologicalimagination.
Asoneviewsthescene,itbecomesapparentthatSamandMarionfeeltheirlivesarefilled“witha
seriesoftraps,”toquoteMills.Theyareconfrontedbytroublestheywouldgladlyescapeandthey
oftentrytowishthemaway.Atthesametime,SamandMarionalsoholdvaluesthattheycannot
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
Monthly
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.