September 21 st
Sociological Research and the Sociological Imagination: Connecting Private Troubles to Public Issues
The sociological imagination will let us connect our private problems to public issues – it’s not our fault.
Statistics and Sociology
Durkheim: statistics as measure of collective conscience
- Suicide, marriage, infant mortality, smoking, HIB
- Data reveals shared morality and social stability
If more people were having common-law relationships that were getting married, it’s an
indicator of the collective conscience. Though we just had to look at statistics to see where
people stand as far as morality and collective conscience go. Putting these stats together is what
drives government to help out to improve social stability.
What is not talked about is that these poor conditions are found in certain types of communities.
There are certain assumptions being made by Durkheim that are not okay.
C Wright Mills: statistics as measure of public issues
- Context of private troubles
Personal trouble: suicide ideation amongst young in Nunavut
Public issue: victimization, unemployment, family violence
Statistics gives us one piece of the puzzle – High unemployment rate (is it about you not being
good enough to keep a job or is it society’s problem for not having enough jobs available?)
To understand why there’s a high level of suicide ideation you have to look at the community
itself – is there victimization, high unemployment rates, family violence, etc.
How consistent are the research results?
- Suicide amongst all Nunavut youth?