Textbook Notes (362,932)
Canada (158,106)
Sociology (239)
SOC 101 (154)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Understanding the Sociological Imagination.doc

5 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Patrick Watson

Chapter 1 - Understanding the Sociological Imagination The Sociological Perspective Sociology: The systematic study of human groups and their interactions. Sociological Perspective:A view of society based on the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live. - any decision made by an individual have social significances Charles Wright Mills and The Sociological Perspective - C. W. Mills suggested people who do not recognize the social origins and character of their problems may be unable to respond to such problems effectively - failing to appreciate how problems are influenced by larger social forces diminishes a person's ability to understand and solve them - Mills believed that the individual and the social are linked, and one cannot fully understand one without the other; explained through personal troubles and social issues Personal Troubles: Personal challenges that require individual solutions. ex. Only you failing the math midterm. Social Issues: Challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions ex. Entire class fails the math midterm. - when people face personal failure, they often do not ask for help because of their quality of mind Quality of Mind: Mills' term for the ability to view a personal circumstance within a social context. ex. You fail the math midterm, but you see if other people in the class struggled as well. You find out that the entire class has failed the math midterm, and you attribute it to confusion over which chapters were on the midterm. - by not letting others know about personal troubles, larger social issues would never be brought up to light - to improve quality of mind, sociologists must expose to individuals what he calls the sociological imagination Sociological Imagination: The ability to understand the dynamic relationship between individuals lives and the larger society. To see oneself as the product of the society they live in. Cheerful Robots: The people unwilling or unable to see the social world as it truly exists Peter Berger: Sociological Perspective - Berger defines the sociological perspective as the ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementary perspectives: seeing the general in the particular and seeing the strange in the familiar - seeing the general the particular is the ability to look at seemingly unique events and then recognize the larger or more general features involved ex. Seeing a beggar ask for change, and then knowing that there are many more beggars around the world that you cannot see but know exist. - seeing the strange in the familiar is to question why we do the things we do What Makes You, You? Engaging the Sociological Imagination 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 behaviours. ex. Being gay/lesbian or having an interracial relationship presents its own challenges and opportunities. - agency vs structure is highly debated in sociological field; does one have the power to change their lives, or does society dictate the way one's life runs? - 5 factors that have the most influence on one's life: minority status, gender, socio- economical status, family structure, urban-rural differences Minority Status - people who are part of a minority face various forms of discrimination that may alter the way they think or behave in society Gender - society treats men and women differently; most human societies are a patriarchy Socio-Economic Status Acombination of variables (income, education, occupation) used to tank people into a hierarchical structure. - people that come from a higher socio-economical status have an advantage over those who do not; known as ascribed status Ascribed Status:Attributes that are both advantageous or disadvantageous that are automatically assigned at birth, examples include gender or race Achieved Status:Attributed developed throughout life as a result of effort and skill Family Structure - children's well being have almost always been associated with the household income of their families - regardless of age, higher income leads to better physical, social, emotional, cognitive and emotional well-being Urban-Rural Differences - people who live in small towns describe that as a important defining feature of who they are - subtle differences in urban and rural communities exist The Origins of Sociology The Scientific Revolution - the Renaissance in the 14 - 17 centuries gave birth to radical thoughts that gained acceptance despite resistance from the church - Auguste Comte, the father of sociology, believed that techniques used in hard science can and should be applied to the social world as well - Comte is known for his Law of Three Stages, defines how advances of the mind created three different types of societies Theological Stage: Longest period of human thinking, began with earliest ancestors, ended during MiddleAges. It is characterized by a religious outlook that explains the world and human society as a part of God's Will, and views science as a means to discover God's intentions. Metaphysical Stage: The period of time during the Renaissance when people began to question the power and teachings of the church; people believed that things could be explained their own universe through their own insight and reflection (ex. Emotion, beauty, music). Positive Stage: The stage that began to emerge through Comte's lifetime; he believed the world would be interpreted through a scie
More Less

Related notes for SOC 101

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.