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Lecture 7

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York University
SOCI 2070
Janice Newson

Social Order and Organisation1Lecture 7 Context continuedLecture 7 The language and Grammar of Social Order and Social Organisation Context continuedRECAP C Wright Mills sociological imagination a quality of mind links the lived experiences of individuals to the contexts in which they act To link individual experience to broader context Think of context as being within a family or small group out to a whole neighborhood or group broader society and increasingly to the work we now do in sociological thinking to a whole nation globally Linking small groups to large groupsmaking the big connection we can have a context that is broad a context that is narrow and a context inside of context The type of context we chose to look at depends on what we see Part I Sociological Imagination in the postmodern or hypermodern contextSociological Imagination as a conceptThe sociological imagination is being able to think ourselves away from the familiar routines of our daily lives in order to look at them anewMills defined sociological imagination as the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider societyThe ability to see things socially and how they interact and influence each othersTo have a sociological imagination a person must be able to pull away from a situation and think from an alternative point of view Ex Coffee Coffee is no longer just a drink but has a symbolic value as a daytoday social ritual Often the ritual of drinking coffee is much more important than the act of consuming the coffee itself When two people meet to have coffee they are probably more interested in seeing one another and chatting than in what they drink In all societies eating and drinking are occasions for social interaction Coffee stands for a status symbol whether you are drinking from a home mug tim hortons cup starbucks mcdonalds etc Another definition sociological imagination is the ability to situate person troubles and life trajectories within an informed framework of larger social processes Questioning our surroundings that we take for granted Possessing a Sociological Imagination social thinkers question What is the structure of this particular society as a whole Where does this society stand in human history What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in this periodA form of selfconsciousness a quality of the mind firmly rooted in an abored realization of social relativity and of the transformative power of
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