Sociological Imagination- enables its processor to understand the larger
historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a
variety of individuals. How individuals can become falsely conscious with there
Troubles-occur within the character of the individual and within the range of his
immediate relations with others. Personal. Troubles lie within the individual as a
biographical entity and within the social setting that shapes his/her experience.
Issue- ties to a belief, A public matter. Often involves a crisis in institutional
arrangements. i.e. high employment from a neighborhood with jobs moving from an
urban to rural setting.
Analyzing a Trouble looks into personal issues i.e. individuals fighting the war.
These are set on the individuals values. Survive the war or make ones death
meaningful. The structural issues of war have to do with causes : what types of
men it throws into command, political, economic, religious effects, etc
Story of Chicano maid.
Typical divisions include gender, ethnic, and class, racial, cultural
Idea of workplace vs domestic space.
Reception of Romero’s work:
She challenges the notion of universal sisterhood. Says that there isn’t unity
amongst women nationwide against a patriarchal society. Not all women identify
with each other. Academics are skeptical because she challenges this notion.
Is rooted in tow facts:
1. We live in a world in which human suffering is the result of the organization
of our social structures and institutions.
2. We live in a social world that generates harm but we have the capacity to
imagine such alternate world warm harm is absent.
Pragmatic political contexts dismiss utopias as impractical but ideals embodied in
utopian visions are still able to figure into the design of real world institutions and
social transformations. 2 primary kinds of research animate the sociological agenda of exploring real
utopias. 1. Studying empirical cases that embody broader utopian alternatives 2.
Communist Utopias, Libertarian utopias. Worker owned cooperatives, Wikipedia,
unconditional basic income.
Utopia vs. Pragmatic
Let’s not rule out power of the dream of a utopia but let’s do it in a pragmatic
manner. Take into account real limitations. A real utopia has to be desirable
achievable and sustainable.
Types of suicide, according to Durkheim
-Egoistic- detached from the group. High level of individualism. Personal ego is too
much. i.e. somebody not getting a 4.0 and killing themselves
-Anomic- moral confusion and lack of social directions because of major social and
economic upheavals. Not enough integration in the social order. People don’t find
-Fatalistic suicide- lack of hope: excessive regulation. Not worth living, cannot find
the deeper meaning
-Altruistic suicide- killing oneself on behalf of the group. i.e. putting yourself in the
line of fire for a friend. Suicide bombers for the belief of martyrdom.
Why did the Bergenfield County Kids Kill Themsleves-
Four suburban teens make a pact to kill themselves. They commit suicide because
they had personal problems. Burnouts, druggies, and dropouts.
Most experts relate youth suicide to anomic suicide. Individual is not connected to
Fatalistic approach- states that suicide may result from over regulation.
-Paradoxical relationship between adults and teens. The burden of expectations,
especially parents. -Enclosure, inability to leave geographic prison that many kids live in.
Epidemic in Mental Illness
-Apparently half the people in the US suffer from mental illness
-high rates are fiction : the studies establish no such thing. Community studies
-Exaggeration- people with everyday stress get diagnosed with mental disorders.
-community surveys are standerizing diagnostic questions.
Are survey based equivalent to clinical diagnoses?
1.People are highly self selected and use all sorts of contextual information to see if
there feelings succeed ordinary, People who enter treatment have decided there
problems go past normal
2.Clinicians as well as patients make contextual judgments of symptoms when the
diagnose mental illness in treated populations. Catching mis diagnosis. Can probe
Other reasons why results are so high.
-The decision not to include contextual criteria in
community surveys may involve not only the efficiency and
practicality of decontextualized, standardized methods but
also resistance to change by groups that benefit from the
reported high rates of mental illnesses .
Political support, budget, family advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and
people who don’t go to see doctors.
1. Bourgeoisie as a Revolutionary Force-Distinct feature of simplified class
antagonisms: Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two classes directly facing each other. Bourgeoisie
and the proletariat. Boureoisie own the means of production (proletariat).
-Sought to work toward a project of social emancipation.
-private ownership of means of production creates burgeois vs. proletariat.
Class struggle is the catalyst for social change
2. Class Struggle
-Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild master and
journeyman. Constant opposition. Now revolutionary fight between the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
-Communist Manifesto describes the economic pressures that made the
emergence of the dominant capitalist class and will eventually produce its
own grave diggers, a class conscious proletariat.
-Development of class consciousness among the workers is vital to
developing the communism.
3. Contradictions of Capitalism
-tends to give way to a monopoly, Business owners who are unable to
compete successfully often find themselves in the ranks of the proletariat.
Although Capitalism produces the self betterment for owners of capital, it
necessarily prevents workers from realizing their essential human capacity to
engage in creative labor.
4. Labor as commodity
-Be sold like any other commodity. Subject to competition and market
fluctuations. As machines become more important in the capitalist workplace,
proletariat labor becomes monotonous, less skilled and cheaper- workers
become the slaves of the machine, of the supervisor, of the bourgeois.
5. No Middle Class-No concept of the Middle-class.
6. Marx- Types of Alienation
-Alienation from the product
-Alienation from the act of producing
-Alienation from ones fellow workers -Alienation from ones species being
The worker is alienated in her role as producer, as well as from the product she
produces. The product opposes the worker as an object over which she has no
control—its form and quality, where and how it is sold, its price, and so on.
•Moreover, because the worker is alienated from the process of production as well
as the product of his labors, he becomes alienated from himself, that is, his species-
The wage earner spends two-thirds of her wakeful hours engaged in a meaningless
activity, save its providing her with the means of subsistence.
•Torn away from the object of his labor, unable to realize the essence of his creative
nature or “species being,” the worker becomes alienated from other people.
For Marx, “alienation” is not a subjective feeling that workers may experience but it
is an objective reality, an ‘estrangement” (division) of the workers from their natural
condition, whether they are aware of it or not!
•The process of production and the results of her labor confront the worker as a
7. Commodity Fetishism
Fetishism of commodities is a reworked version of Marx’s concept of
•fetishism refers to the distorted relationship existing between individuals and
the production and consumption of goods
-Systematic denial of human labor. Repression of social existence.
we treat the goods we buy as if they have “magical” powers. We lose sight of the
fact that these commodities are crystallizations of human labor. This gives a
particular tint to our relation with commodities, and authorizes social operations of
a particular kind.
Movie Modern Times:
-1936 movie directed by Charlie Chaplain centered around the character little tramp
and the struggles to survive in the modern industrialized world during the great
depression. -Chaplain is a character who works the assemb