Textbook Notes (362,768)
Canada (158,052)
Sociology (229)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

Sociology Sept12/12 The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills (1959) o Called the ability to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures the sociological imagination o Emphasized the difficulty of developing the quality of mind o His language is sexist but his argument is true and inspiring (1950s) Sociological imagination: - Individual experiences connected to a social context - About two centuries old - It was born when three modern revolutions (listed below) pushed people to think about society in an entirely new way Scientific Revolution (1550) - Which encouraged the view that complete conclusions about the workings of society must be based on solid evidence not just speculation (rumors) - Using evidence o make a case for a particular point of view - By the mid 1600’s some philosophers (Descartes & Hobbes) were calling for a science of society th - Sociology emerged as a distinct discipline in the 19 century - Commitment to the scientific method was one form pillar of the sociological imagination Democratic Revolution (1750) - Suggested that people are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems - Realization that people can control society and change it - The American and French Revolution helped undermine these ideas (figure 1.4) - Showed that societies could experience massive change in a short period - Proved that people could replace unsatisfactory rules - People control society - It was possible to change society by human intervention - Science could play a big role - This new science could help people figure out ways t reach given goals Industrial Revolution (1780) - Created a host of new and serious social problems that attracted the attention of many social thinkers - Because of the growth of industry, masses of people moved from countryside to city, worked agonizingly long hours in crowded and dangerous mines and factories, lost faith in their religions, confronted faceless bureaucracies and reacted to the filth and poverty of their existence by means of strikes, crime, revolution and war - Suggested that people can intervene to improve society - Presented social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems crying out for a solution  Question: Do you know someone who is divorced?  Reflect on a personal issue or problem you are facing. Try to connect your own personal issue to a wider social context or public issue Reasons for Increase in Divorce  People living longer  Legal changes  Declining stigma  Increasing secularism  Women’s labor force participation Reasons for Increase in Divorce  Higher Expectations (What qualities do you seek in a partner?)  Shifting ideas about gender and unequal sharing of housework  Inadequate supports for working parents which lead to marital conflict  Greater diversity in families and intimate relationships, including great acceptance of remaining single, cohabiting and advocacy and social change for gays and lesbians Example Multiple Choice 1. The Sociological imagination allows people to understand the relationship between: A. Social Structure and human agency B. Processes and structures C. Psychology, Biology and Sociology D. Public or social issues and private troubles E. Nature and Nurture 2. If we apply the “sociological imagination” to the problem of divorce we: A. Can Predict which couples will divorce B. See how infidelity and financial difficulty lead to divorce C. Can link divorce rates to changes in divorce legislation and social attitudes towards divorce D. Can understand the emotional turmoil that results from divorce E. Understand that divorce is most likely to happen when a couple falls out of love and grows apart. Sociological Theories - A theory is a tentative explanation of some aspect of social life that states how and why certain facts are related - After theories are formulated, sociologists can conduct research - Research is the process of carefully observing social reality to assess the validity of a theory - Values are ideas about what is right and wrong, good and bad - Values help sociologists formulate and favor certain theories over others - Durkheim, Marx and Weber initiated three of the major theoretical traditions in sociology: functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism  Order theories: supports status-quo  Change theories: social change  Macro-sociology: society shapes us  Micro-sociology: we make society Structural Functionalism  Order theory  Macro Level – social structures analyzed by functionalism  Stability, equilibrium - how social structures maintain social stability  Consensus  Shared values  Reestablishing equilibrium can solve most social problems  Analogy to human body  Interrelated parts  Functionality of parts  Durkheim’s theory of suicide  Stress that human behavior is governed by relatively stable patterns of social relations/social structures (How Durkheim emphasized how suicide rates are influenced by social solidarity)  Durkheim argued how the growth of industries and cities in 19 century Europe lowered level of social solidarity and contributed to social instability which caused a higher suicide rate  Durkheim thought of social solidarity as a sort of moral cement that binds people together  Durkheim believed that social solidarity would rise and there would be fewer strikes, suicides, etc if people would agree on LESS  Great Depression = functionalism
More Less

Related notes for SOCIOL 1A06

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.