SY101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination

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20 Apr 2018
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CHAPTER 1: THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
The Sociological Imagination
- Understanding that what we experience are not just personal problems, but social
issues shared by many different people
- Some findings support common sense understandings of social life, while others
contradict them
- Understanding that what we experience are not just personal problems, but social
issues shared by many different people
- C. Wright Mills created the term
o Believed it enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between
the two within society
o Understanding that it shapes who we are and the experiences we have
- Helps us to understand diversity and to question assumptions
- Challenges stereotypes: faulty generalizations about individuals based on what we think
we know about a person or group
- The process for forming sociological questions:
o The sociological imagination makes us ask deeper questions about the world
o Makes us ask hard questions instead of accepting easily available answers (or
stereotypes)
o Sociological Questions come from:
Professional sociologists have experiences in their lives that ignite their
sociological imaginations
Thinking critically about common sense
Wisdom is found in common sense aphorisms: short phrases
stating truth or opinion
o Range from questions about the basic units of human life (i.e. relationships), to
group organizations we are part of, all the way to the global economy and its
impacts on our social relationships
Social Contexts
- Families Shape Social Development
o Individual lives unfold in context
Immediate family, parent education level and income
Neighbouring and community
Education
Types of organizations available and accessed
Types of employment
Country at birth
Historical period at birth
o Families as Context
Racial, ethical and religious identities
Teach basic rules of society
Provides first social networks
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Document Summary

Some findings support common sense understandings of social life, while others contradict them. Understanding that what we experience are not just personal problems, but social issues shared by many different people. C. wright mills created the term: believed it enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society, understanding that it shapes who we are and the experiences we have. Helps us to understand diversity and to question assumptions. Challenges stereotypes: faulty generalizations about individuals based on what we think we know about a person or group. Influence education and cognitive capacities through life long interactions: help in later life. Communities as a context: pat shaky: resear(cid:272)h on link (cid:271)et(cid:449)een neigh(cid:271)ouring (cid:448)iolen(cid:272)e an (cid:272)hildren"s s(cid:272)hool performance, violence can also be absorbed by and transmitted through neighbouring. Organizations and institutions as a context contexts. Kinds of groups joined/contacts formed creates variety of opportunities: participation in organizations shape personal/public identities available to us.

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