Understanding and Constructing Social Order
Review: C Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination
- The ability to understand how society influences an individuals situation and
ideally this information would allow one to change his or her situation
Fundamental Attribution Error
- When people explain individual outcomes by thinking of an individual’s
disposition as causing an outcome rather than considering the social
situation that impacts a person.
- Contribute inside factors to a situation rather than outside factors.
- For Example someone failed a test because they were stupid or unorganized.
Not because the test was hard or they stayed up all night with their sick child.
We can view people on welfare as:
a) People who don’t want to work (Dispositional attribution – about their
disposition as a person)
b) As a lack of labor market dynamics (no jobs) or a lack of child care
Social Psychology – connects the self at the micro level to society at the macro level
Study of how the individual is shaped by society. Sociologists like Goffman often
look at society through a very small frame.
C Wright Mills 1916-1962
- Wrote the Sociological Imagination – the cover of it was shown in class and it
depicts how the individual is like a puzzle piece and society is the larger
- Mills was a Professor at Colombia University
- Best Known for the Sociological Imagination (1959)
- He wanted people to develop their own sociological imaginations.
The Sociological Imagination: The Promise
“Enables its possessor to understand the large historical scene in terms of its
meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals”
- Allows people to look beyond the individual
- Allows them to look at the sel