Updated: September 27, 2013
MILLS- personal troubles vs public problems
Micro perspective, everyday life perspective. Society arises as a shared reality. Symbol: something
that meaningfully represents something else. Most interaction is symbolic- languages, gestures. Based
on (often) shared personal subjective experiences. Recognition of individuals in society: active
agents. Involves seeing the same thing but interpreting them differently- symbols mean different
things to different people. Behaviours and attitudes therefore depend on how one perceives/defines
the construct (abstract quality hard to measure).
Learning theory- understand individuals learn in a variety of ways.
Rational Choice theory-
Marginal Value theory-
W.I Thomas- “what we define as real, is real in its consequences”
Perspective. Must understand actor’s definition, because it will be real for them. How you
define a situation is how you act in it.
What we want influences what we learn --- what we learn influences what we want.
Father of symb. Interactionism. Idealism- the way people think can bring about change. Verstehen- to
understand, (Mills adds biography, milieu, society) also, no universal understanding. He agrees with MARX,
about economic importance, but says there are other just as important thngNo single factor determines
society or an individual. Economic changes, religion, urbanization, law, politics, tech, etc all influence society/
individuals. Social conflict can originate in values, status etc
Religious idealism was the driving force- pre-destination,
Wrote “Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism (1904)” – ruling classes use beliefs to legitimate their
position, so that other classes will cooperate in their own subordination. Rationalization of society: change
from tradition to rationality (deliberate, matter of fact calc of the most efficient way to do a job)
Main focus on Gender- is embedded in all cultures, can be ***???used to support???*** conflict theory. Not
focused on multiple variables, gender cross-cuts all aspects of social life.
Is the study of women’s lives, MACRO- constraints and forms of resistance in women’s lives (political, primary
family care giver), MICRO- reproduction of gender through lang and emotion management (women=
expressive, men= instrumental)
Maternal Fem. : early 19 cent. Moral crusaders- improve society- wanted to reduce drinking in working
class men- spending pay packs at bar in one night. Temperance improvement, women’s suffrage.
Gender= socially determined Sex= biologically determined
Liberal Fem. : early 60s – Betty Friedan, women gaining equality via education/job access
Radical Fem. : Patriarchy: society set up to benefit enuniversal cause of women’s oppression. Women
organize separately then men to protect their interests ex radical women groups etc
Socialist Fem. : (Marxist) Gender inequalities based on economic factors: goes back to class inequalities.
Women organize WITH MEN of same class to reduce problems of gender inequality- level playing field.
--Radicals say patriarchy has been around longer than capitalism.
Common characteristics--- gender inequalities are not biologically determined, but social constructed
(argument). Patriarchy is present in almost all societies.