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KNES 244 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Social Constructionism, Critical Thinking, Social Change

Course Code
KNES 244
William Bridel
Study Guide

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KNES 244 In-Class Test #1 - Review
Sociological imagination
o “enables its processor to understand the larger historical scene in term of its meaning for the inner life
and external career of a variety of individuals”
o “to be aware of social structure and to use it with sensibility is to be capable of tracing such linkages
among a variety of milieu. To be able to do that is to possess the sociological imagination”
o Thinking critically about people’s experiences not as individuals but from a cultural, macro level
looking at the bigger picture, considering cultural reasonings
Critical thinking
o Rational, clear, precise, and systematic thinking. Questioning what is commonly seen as the “truth”.
Consider relationships between meanings/experiences and the CONTEXT
o Critical thinking is not arguing without grounds (without reason or evidence) and is not about criticizing
others. It is not about being confrontational or emotionless!
Socio-cultural studies
o Explore social issues. Investigate people’s feelings, thoughts, and lives in relation to certain concepts
(i.e.: sport).
o How behaviours are affected by people’s surrounding (social and cultural factors)
o Sociology (study of society) + cultural (anthropology, geography, philosophy, etc.)
Social theories
o Help us identify and explain problems in social life. Theories are based on questions about why the
world is the way it is and on ideas about how it might be different
o Used to question, challenge, interrogate, or explore “taken-for-granted” aspects of social life. Like a
metaphorical microscope or magnifying glass
o Social theories come from major social events, differ based on the culture/time/ geography/religion, are
never perfect or complete, may push for social change, and often show the effect of external dynamics
on the actions of people
o Description (what’s happening), reflection (critically reflect on the phenomenon), analysis (usually
rooted in another theory since no theory is perfect or complete)
Personal theories
o Based on our own experiences, knowledge, values, opinions. Guide our lives and the choices/decisions
that we make. More biased and personal and applicable to yourself than to the whole of society.
o Ex: yellow light theoretically supposed to be slowing down but we speed up to make it through
Qualitative research methods
o Qualitative research adds depth and voice, and has 3 potential outcomes:
Mapping explain what is happening
Critiquing critical standpoint on the phenomenon
Social change towards improvement
o Data collection methods:
interviews (structured, semi-structured, or guided conversations)
focus groups (shared identity group, people feed off each other, downfall = dominant voice
textual analysis (books, movies, performances, etc.)
surveys (used less now, very structured and rigid, lacks depth)
photography/drawing (shows perceptions)
autoethnography (using your own experiences as a focal point of research)
o Validity in qualitative research: credibility, transferability, dependability, trustworthiness, authenticity
Social constructionism
o Social constructs are shared ideas bout reality (ex: symbols, foods, colors, gestures, groups of people
and stereotypes, language, etc.)
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