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SOC102H1 Chapter Notes -Social Reality, Labeling Theory, Bourgeoisie

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Lecture#1: Social Problems 1
Social Problems Chapter 1
What is a social problem?
A condition/pattern of behavior that warrants public concern/collective action
What is sociology
Systematic study of societies
The rise of sociology itself coincided with the rise of modern societies
There are two aspects to social problems
1) Objective Elements
Measurable features of a negative social condition (eg crime, sexual abuse, pollution)
2) Subjective Elements
Our evaluations of objective conditions and the processes that influence their
evolution (eg moral labels)
By bringing together objective and subjective elements (changes in measurable reality and our
perceptions of measurable reality, we can define a social problem as a condition and process
Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills
The ability to see connections between one’s life and the social world
This enables people to distinguish between personal troubles and public issue
This connection is made by closely analyzing reality at two levels
o Microsociology: local/personal level
o Macrosociology: major bureaucratic organization and social institutions
Social ‘reality’
Social reality is a social construct, a set of ideals, beliefs and views that are
flexible and open to interpersonal influence
People’s subjective view of reality, not reality itself shapes behavior
Moral entrepreneurs
Those who classify social problems and try to make a change
Claims Making
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