SOCI1503 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: The Sociological Imagination

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1 Aug 2016
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Lecture 2
Early sociological theorists, like Marx , Weber, and
Durkheim, were concerned with the phenomena they
believed to be driving social change in their time.
Naturally, in pursuing answers to these large questions,
they received intellectual stimulation.
These founders of sociology were some of the earliest
individuals to employ what C. Wright Mills would later call
the sociological imagination: the ability to situate
personal troubles and life trajectories within an informed
framework of larger social processes.
The term sociological imagination describes the type of
insight offered by the discipline of sociology.
While scholars have quarreled over interpretations of the
phrase, it is also sometimes used to emphasize
sociology's relevance in daily life.
Durkheim formally established the academic discipline
and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited
as the principal architect of modern social science and
father of sociology.
Karl Marx, another one of the founders of sociology, used
his sociological imagination to understand and critique
industrial society.
In describing the sociological imagination, Mills asserted
the following.
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