o Small Close Families
o See parents positively
o Share parental values
o Parental involvement
o Rely on adult direction, assurance
o Powerful sense of individualism
Constantly told how much they control their own
o Less historical awareness and fewer life - experiences
o Multi tasking
Their lives have been thoroughly planned and organized -
and closely monitored
o First to grow up surrounded by digital media.
o Because of their direct access to so much information,
they are politically aware but less sceptical than their
Benoit mindset list
o Paper released yearly describing the incoming first
university student mindset
o Technological age
o [Members of the Class of 2016] are the first generation
to grow up taking the word “online” for granted and for
whom crossing the digital divide has redefined research,
original sources and access to information, changing the
central experiences and methods in their lives.
The Medium is the message: p.15-16
o This means that the message is irrelevant the real
message is the medium in which the message is conveyed.
Whether that be film, books, oral presentation.
o McLuhan identified active media in relation to “hot” and
Hot Media – Media that requires a lot less active
interpretation e.g. Film
Cold Media – Media that requires more active
interpretation e.g. books, comic books.
o Though the new wave of e-Culture is great, students must
learn to go back and use print-Culture that will help them reach the higher learning they’re attempting to
o Liberal education that students can receive is
decreasing. Bloom believed the liberal education was a
great opportunity to help students pose important
questions like who am i? and what is humankind? Bloom
believed that “each generation can be best discovered by
its relations to the permanent concerns of mankind.”
Mills’ Sociological Imagination
What is the Sociological Imagination? P.38-39
"the vivid awareness of the relationship between
experience and the wider society."
"men see their lives as a series of traps"
Involves carrying mental processes and the
active role of the mind, both of which are
Apprehending process – a way of creating a
complex mental image of the world by
developing an increasingly more
comprehensive mental view of the
relationship between an individual and their
It is the quality of mind that requires one to grasp
the social context intellectually, and draw it together.
The individual and social can be drawn together and
examined as a dynamic whole.
It is the mental understanding of the world as it
actually is through an approach that allows people to
understand more than they would by using normal,
everyday stocks of knowledge.
Enables individuals to understand themselves and
o What is the natural attitude? P.38
It comes naturally to us it is the way we view the
world as an individual
Using the example of Psycho: one must move the
camera back to make the intricate connection
between the patterns of the lovers lives and the
course of American and world history. Requires the quality of mind that integrates macro
and micro, the social and the individual.
o What are “everyday stocks of knowledge”? p. 29
Basic knowledge that people learn not from school, but
from everyday life, this also reinforces us as
Importance of Sociological Imagination
o It asks us to think outside the box and think a way that
By imagination mills doesn’t mean to make things up but
to analyse and assess the social world in which we live.
Personal Troubles of Milieu
o Character of individual and immediate relations
o Solution lies within individual, immediate milieu and
o Personal troubles are a private matter.
o I.E. Psycho, Bates the motel manager is just going
through the motions of owning a motel, as no one ever
goes there anymore after the new highway creates a faster
route to L.A.
Three Key Questions
1. What is the structure of society as a whole
essential components; differences from other social
orders; meaning of particular features.
I.E. todays world is a great global village everyone
is always connected to each other, this world is a
technological place, everyone is connected
2. Where does society stand in history
Mechanics of change; development of humanity;
period’s essential features; characteristic way of
Though we may be seen as a technology world, industry
still plays a large role in our economy and in our
larger lives. These mechanics of change are all
centered on consumerism.
3. What varieties of men and women prevail – are coming to
the opportunities for women have grown significantly
over the past 20 years.
how selected, formed, repressed, blunted, liberated;
what of “human nature” is revealed ; what is its
significance. Karl Marx
Scottish Enlightenment: p.73
o Enlightenment legacy – three central objectives/concerns
o Reason: a shift of the power of human reason
o Period where people started to question: arbitrary
authority and the political structure in which they live.
People want to become actively involved socially.
o Hume – common, consistent nature to humanity – shaped by
o Ferguson – concern over impact of industrialization and
increased division of labour – simplification of work
o Adam Smith – propensity to truck, barter and exchange
Technological Determinism: p.92-93
o Machinery seen as the key material productive force –
increasing technological efficiency to increase profit.
o It is the productive force that permits capitalists to
increase productivity and thereby increase profits.
o There is a technological imperative to increase
o The material means of production as the motor of history
– the driving force of history
o Technology determines the course of social change and
o Seen, by Marx, as one of the major sources of change.
Economic Determinism: p.94-96
o Not machinery or technology – but economy as a whole
o The economy determines the type of contradictions that
will emerge and create revolutionary change.
o Also referred to as “Economic Reductionism”
o Long term tendency of rate of profit to fall as
technology becomes more widespread
o Mass of profit increased by selling more goods at smaller
o Incentive to use still technology to increase
Material Forces of Production and the Mode of Production:
p.89 o The mode of production is comprised of two basic
The social relations of production
Or “property relations”
Encompasses the ownership and control of the
forcers of production.
The material forces of production
o The material forces of production encompass the material
elements that are involved in production.
In slave societies, the material elements are
slaves using their labor to convert raw materials
into goods for consumption. In capitalist
societies, the material forces of production
include the factories, the machinery, the raw
material, and the physical workers, which all
combine to produce commodities for sale in the
o Presents a revolutionary dynamic that uses history to
accentuate themes of freedom, mastery and progress
Two key focal points:
1. The material relations of society -objective dynamic
2. Class Struggle (class consciousness) - subjective
dynamic o Change is driven by internal contradictions and struggle
"The history of all hitherto existing society is the
history of class struggles"
The Bourgeoisie: (b for big)
The first of the two great "titans"
Risen as a political power
Asserts its historical struggle to power
From oppression under feudal nobility to armed
self-governing free cities in medieval Europe, to
independent republics or a taxed Third Estate.
The Proletariat (p for poor)
Increasing in number
Increasingly concentrated in factories
Conditions shape consciousness
Form political opposition - defeated but rise again
Forces reform through legislation
New class pushing revolutionary change
Marx and Sociology:
1. if you look at the preface it represents the first two
of mills question. While the manifesto answers the rest.
2. First widely accessible presentation of Marx's central
thesis: social formations and social history best
understood by studying real, material, social relations
3. Marx presented the argument that one must begin, as
political economists maintain, with the economic
infrastructure of society
4. Focus on political economy leads to focus on class
struggle (early political economy - "the three great
5. Class struggle has an objective, economic dimension but
also a significant subjective, politically conscious one
Division of Labour in Society: p.142
o Focus on transition from feudal societies to a more urban
Departure point for all Durkheim's ensuing sociology
o Its key aspect rests in its fundamental role as the basis
for social cohesion.
o Serves as an integration of the social body to assure
unity; the most essential condition of social life, provided
that one conceives it in all the rational extent.
o Finding an empirical indicator within society
Wanted to study Division of labours in society and
how it creates a social order. o One of Durkheim's key concepts is the conscience
collective (conscience and consciousness) p. 145
o In a particular society what seems reasonable will
govern our behaviour
o More than consciousness
o Not just was is reasonable but also what is just, and
fair I.e. a moral order
o To understand how social form emerges focus on how
people view the world around them.
o “it’s just done that way”
o It is through this that that the individual and
society ae brought together in social action.
o Repressive Law - avenging a community morality; if you
graffiti a wall you go to jail.
o Mechanical solidarity
Particular structure is simple in a feudal
society relationships are very mechanical
most relationships are face to face.
Used to emphasize that the individual is
bound almost directly to the society through
a conscious collective that provides a
single, powerful, total belief system.
o Face to Face relationships; individual bound directly
to society; analogy to simple organisms
o Restitutive law - return to things as they were; if you
graffiti a wall, you have to wash it. social solidarity
o Organic solidarity
Societies with increasingly sophisticated
division of labour all of the different
parts need to function together
Each individual depends on society, because
he depends upon the parts of which it is
o As it becomes more complex, the individual becomes
more integrated into it. I.e. you rely on more people
than you would have in a feudal society
o Does not involve the suffering of the individual but
simply the return of things as they were, in the
reestablishment of troubled relations to their normal
Durkheim and Sociology
o Establishing as a positivist science
o Create Rules of Sociological Method
o Wants to establish a unique, empirical subject matter of
sociology o Believed sociology rejected individualist positions
(economics, politics, philosophy)
o Believed sociology was the queen of the sciences the
most complex one because it is so difficult to
predict the movement and actions of humans
Durkheim and the Sociological Method: p.151-152
o He charted a new, formal path for the study of the social
o He wants to extend scientific rationalism to the study of
“it can be shown that behaviour in the past, when
analyzed, can be reduced to relationships of
cause and effect.”
o Distinct from biology - organism vs. conscious action and
Though both study organisms, the beings studied in
sociology have a very complex conscious
o Distinct from Psychology - internal vs. external
Psych is focusing on the internal mind and the
individual while sociology is about the collective or
group it is focusing on you vs. the society.
o Social distinctive characteristics - "ways of acting,
thinking, and feeling, external to the individual, and
endowed with a power of coercion, by reason of which they
o Education imposes ways of seeing, thinking and acting on
Hidden curriculum - punctual, self-discipline,
hierarchy, social interactions
o You are taken from being an individual you become more
and more a social being, through a process of
Socialization - group imposes ways of seeing,
thinking and acting
o Social facts - group habits, generalized patterns of
action, traditions, mores
Thanksgiving, you celebrate thanksgiving using the
traditions that are in your family but than your
family is influenced by cultural traditions
o They are internalized by the socialized individual and
Social Facts and Sociology
o Subject matter of sociology is society - it is there, it
o Social facts - objective element, determined and measured o External to individual
o Social being is created and it is constrained
o By conscience, what is right? Should we do that?
o Coercive power - shape behaviour
o Parents, social groups, school coerce people to think
in a certain way.
o Concentric circles (family, neighbourhood, school, legal
structure, media etc.) *Everyone is located in these
o Society sits on top of us is not a momentary neurotic
o These coercive forces help human conduct to become
o Social Facts: objective elements (age, gender, colour),
exact determination, or identification, and measurement
o Social Integration - gender, age, location, family,
friends, media, language, commerce, education, religion,
o Subtle to overt; shunning, gossip, ridicule; economic,
political; legal; force
o Sui generis reality; pre dates us
o Society is the walls of our imprisonment in history
Durkheim and Suicide