Sociology: The systematic study of human groups and their interactions.
The unique way in which sociologists see the social world is the Sociological Perspective: A view based
on the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live in.
Charles Wright Mills suggested that people who fail to see the social origin and character of their
problems fail to resolve them, and in effect, an inability to recognize that an individual’s problems are
influenced by larger social forces diminishes that individual’s ability to solve their problems.
Personal Troubles: personal challenges that require individual solutions.
Social Issues: Challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions.
Many personal troubles never become social issues because people fail to equate their own issues with
those of the larger social world.
Quality of Mind: Ability to see personal circumstance in a social context
Sociological imagination: ability to see how dynamic social forces influence individual lives.
To employ the sociological imagination is to see yourself as a product of family, gender race, etc. and asl
yourself, who am I and why do I think the way I do?
Sociological Imagination improves Quality of Mind
Cheerful Robots: Individuals who fail to see the social world for what it truly is.
Sociological Peter Berger defines sociological perspective as: Seeing the general in that particular, and
the strange in the familiar.
General in the particular: Taking an individual incident and seeing the general or larger features
involved. For example, seeing one homeless person and then recognizing there are many others too,
Strange in the particular: Taking mundane everyday events and seeing the uniqueness of the situations
Agency: the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed lives.
Structure: the network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints influencing individual behavior.
Patriarchy: A system where men control political and economic resources of society.
Socio-Economic Status: combination of income, education, occupation, and area of residence used to
rank people into a hierarchal structure.
Ascribed status: Attributes gained at birth
Achieved status: Attributes gained throughout one’s life through effort and skill. 5 main sociological factors that affect us are minority status, gender, socio-economic status, family