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Simon Fraser University
Sociology and Anthropology
SA 150
Amie Mc Lean

Intro January-07-13 12:34 PM What is Sociology?  The systematic study of human society Sociology is a state of mind  Way of looking at and analyzing the social world -C.Wright Mills, he wrote and talked about the sociological imagination o "..what is the meaning of this?" o The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history o He explains how it enables us to explore the broader issues and to understand and recognize those connections in order to grasp the meaning of life o Importance between biography and history, human agency and social structures(any relative, stable pattern of social structure (ex. sports,school) o Mills is asking us to recognize the ways that peoples individual lives and histories are shaped and imbedded in history  For example, our lives are historically shaped by the great depression--> where the stock market crashed as a result of historical factors and human agency because ppl lost their jobs, moved cities to find work. These social events shape individual lives o Mills is saying hat thinking sociologically means putting personal choice in social context  Examples of this can be drawn from a book called there are no children here. This book is about 2 African boys. The 10 year old boy said "If I grow up, I want to be a bus driver" o The inability to recognize the problems and social issues turn us into cheerful robots that think critically about our lives and lives of others (Mills) o Can be challenging to adopt different cultures, especially for those who grow up in individualist countries The sociological perspective  Social explanations for human behaviour o Emphasis on Social  We are taught to believe that general merit (how hard we work) is what matters. However, not everyone steps into a situation on equal footing. Some people may not have family's to pay for their school. Conversely, people with family's that have the funding will be less exhausted and will be able to focus their time towards their studies  Putting personal choice in social context  Seeing the general in the particular o For example, looking around at this particular class and notice that there seems to be more women than men which can be linked to broader research trends. We know that women are
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