Cultivating Sociological Imaginations
Sociologists can be split into:
Empiricists – Obsessed with social life and describe in great detail
Methodologists – Give intellectual energies to rendering tools and statistics of social research
Theorists – Obsessed with the intricacies of human thought and how to make logical the general
and abstract principles of social thought
Think On: Guidelines for Creating a Sociological Imagination
1. Search for Structures: What are the underlying patterns of social life?
Social structures are the patterns of predictable human action that cluster around key problems
in living and they vary in all societies. All societies have their own identifiable patterns, but these
patterns vary from country to country.
2. Examine Social Actions and Meanings: How Do People Act Towards Others?
Humans never stand still. They are constantly moving and keep the world progressing. Social
actions refer to human life when it takes into account the meanings people have of other people.
It can also be linked to inter-subjectivity; people make sense of social life through entering the
mind of those they interact with. One major task of sociology is to understand the workings of
3. Bridge Actions and Structures: How do we Connect Individuals with Society?
How do you maintain a balance between actions and structures?
4. Empathize with Lived Cultures: How can we Grasp Meaningful Symbolic Worlds?
Different cultures experience different stereotypes. Ethnography is the study of various different
cultures. These cultures are not only religions, but can include music cultures, groups, and drugs.
These cultures are analyzed using the Verstehen method, which involves thinking about: