I. SEEING THINGS SOCIOLOGICALLY & UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL
LEC 2 (9/5/2012)
C Wright Mills the sociological imagination lets us grasp history (changes of society over time) & biography
(the self) & the relationship between the 2 in society.
Q: What is the sociological imagination/ mindfulness?
A: Taking a larger view of things.
Not blaming individuals
Seeing the social, economic, & historical circumstances that produce a problem.
Q: Why is there a need for sociological imagination/ mindfulness?
Individuals aren’t always to blame for their social situations .
Our lives are intertwined so we should consider how our actions have an effect on others.
Q: What are social problems?
Social conditions that harm any part of the population.
Objective regardless of context, it’s a social problem mainly b/c it causes harm.
Constructionist approach acknowledges the processes by which people designate some conditions as
Take Away Points:
Sociological imagination allows us to take a larger view/ indentify structural causes of social problems.
Social Image how social, historical, cultural, economic and political factors shape the choices people have
available to them.
Objective/Constructionist 2 approaches of studying sociological problems. Always a subject nature to
What is oppression? The caging in of every possible opportunity.
Women and oppression, misuse of the word oppression.
Oppression does not mean feeling miserable to the fault of a limitation.
Correlation with “easy” and “uptight” women as well as their being of oppression.
“WHAT IS PRIVELEGE?”
when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong
to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or have failed to do.
Does not determine the outcome but can either be:
an asset that makes the talent, ability, or aspiration result in something good.
A liability that make it less likely that people’s talent, ability, and aspiration be recognized/rewarded.
PRIVILEGE & OPPRESSION LECTURE 3 (9/10/2012)
Q: What is oppression?
A: A system of social inequality through which one group is positioned to dominate and
benefit from the exploitation and subordination of another.
Attributes of Oppression:
Pervasive and Systematic
Hegemony ability of generally a privileged group to define what is “normal”. Allows oppression to seem
Has multiple manifestations
Has consequences for everyone
Operates on multiple levels and dimensions
We are socialized to accept systems of oppression as normal.
****Frye’s Features of Oppression***
Double Bind situations in which options are reduced to a very few and all of them expose one to penalty,
censure or deprivation. (page 30)
Ex: Women & Rape. Too promiscuous or not promiscuous enough. Always woman’s fault.
Systematically Related Forces birdcage metaphor (page 31)
related to each other in such a way as to catch one between and among them and restrict or penalize
motion in any direction.
no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as
confining as the solid walls of a dungeon.
Dimensions of Oppression. Reinforce eachother. LEVEL RELATIONSHIP of EXAMPLE
Individual One on one/ Small Group Calling someone a
Institutional Social Institutions Religion, G’vt, mass
(organized patterns of beliefs or media, Education,
behaviors that serve a social Family