Questions: 1. Define what is Sociological Imagination ( 200 words)
Can you define it? It's about understanding how public issues are often mislabeled as personal troubles…( Details can be explanation of a pairing - like biography/history; self/society and personal troubles / public issues. Student communicates nuance of the Sociology Imagination such as how public issues are mislabeled as personal troubles. Student clearly demonstrates an explicit and applied SI. Source(s) is/are included and correctly cited.)
2. What is a self-reflexive statement? It is a short statement describing your participation in the course. Included in a “self-reflexive” statement of your contributions to the course are … ( 250 words) 1. how much and how often you contributed, 2. a description of what you learned, 3. how you specifically added value to the course, 4. a definition of the Sociological Imagination, an explanation of what a
Sociological Imagination is (define and cite source) and a description of how your Sociological Imagination developed as a result of taking this course,
5. and your thoughts on your participation in general.
3. Sociological Imagination - Real World Application of… ( 250 words)
Explain how have or plan to use your Sociological Imagination in the real world. Be as specific as possible. Link this to the material in the course. Use strong empirical sources and cite them using APA format. ( Explanation of how you specifically have or specifically plan to use a sociological imagination in the real world is exceptional / accurate and detailed. Source(s) is/are included and correctly cited. ) ( real world, uhhh, let's set it as Medical Field )
4. Have you found any good sources related to Gender Inequality, the domination of men over women, feminist? ( 150 words)
Write a description of the site, and why you think this is important? Attach URL’s or youtube clip here.
Remember to follow the posting guidelines (and include a sociological imagination) in your post.
Here are some good notes on THE SOCIOLOGICAL (NOT SOCIAL) IMAGINATION:
Your "The Promise" article is an excerpt of the first chapter of Mills' book "The Sociological Imagination" (1959). So, you can get an idea of how condensed your article is.
· C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), great, mid-century Sociologist who coined the term "The Sociological Imagination."
● An academic who felt strongly that a fundamental goal of academia should be progressive social change.
● Provided a radical and controversial critique of both contemporary sociology and sociological practice.
● As a practicing sociologist, his major focus was on these things: ● social inequality, ● the power of elites, ● the declining middle class, ● the relationship between individuals and society, ● and the importance of including a historical perspective in sociological
He talks about how we can look at society as consisting of three sets of pairings.
1) Biography - History
2) Self - Society
3) Personal Troubles - Public Issues
Just as some of you have contributed, Sociology is about being able to see that there are various perspectives and that you need to have some kind of scientific or systematic basis to understanding the world and human interactions within it.
A definition of the term: "the recognition that our personal experiences are in large part shaped by social forces within the larger society." ( Mills' 1959 book entitled "The Sociological Imagination".)
One of the broad aims of this course is to help students develop their sociological imaginations - to recognize how it is that things that people experience as "private troubles" (disparate pay) is experienced on an individual level but is connected to "public issues" (in this case, wage discrimination and patriarchy) on a broader level.
It's not that people are powerless to make change in the system, but Mills argued that they are sort of "trapped" in the system and largely unaware of its workings.
TWO MAIN WAYS TO VIEW SOCIAL LIFE:
To simplify what he is saying, there are really two ways of viewing social life.
1) the personal individualized level (in Mills' writing this is composed of the following: biography, self, and private troubles) and
2) the structural level (history, society and public issues). Mills' analysis points to how much we "personalize" situations and how we then look for solutions on the personal level. He argues that at the very least, we need to consider both levels and look more to structural level changes for responsible social change.
Mills' Sociological Imagination encourages us to socially situate and locate all kinds of interactions within the social order - he really encourages us to see that there is indeed a social structure to every society. Many people have trouble conceptualizing this because you can't *see* a social order - even though it's definitely there. He used to liken the social order to water in a fishbowl. The fish isn't really aware of the water but can't survive without it. Cool, eh?
“Neither the life of an individual nor the history off a society can be understood
without understanding both.” ( Mills, The Promise, p. 3 )
"The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography
and the relations between the two within society.” (Mills, The Promise, p. 6)
Here is some good information and resources...
Found something you like about the Sociological Imagination (SI)?
The American sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) described the perspective of sociology as "The Sociological Imagination." He maintained that this new point of view benefits individuals by helping them to see how their personal lives are shaped by larger social forces. In order to help us see this more clearly, he asserted that a critical task for social scientists is to "translate personal troubles into public issues". Personal troubles relate to how a single person feels about something while public issues refer to things that affect whole groups of people. For instance, a person who cannot find an affordable place to live is experiencing a personal trouble, while a city with a massive homelessness rate actually makes that not just a personal trouble but a public issue. Sociologists, then, rightly connect biographical, personal troubles to social institutions. Social scientists should then connect those institutions to social structures and locate them within a historical narrative. In short, Mills argued, we cannot fully understand ourselves without understanding the society in which we live. Worse, we tend to "individualize" (and therefore misconstrue and / or make invisible) issues rooted in the social structure of our societies. We need to begin by really SEEING our societies and social structures and where we, and everyone else, is located in that larger structure.
"Public issues" are often mis-labeled and misunderstood and individualized as "personal troubles." What, specifically, did Mills recommend we do about this myth?
What they need... is the quality of mind that will help them to [see] ... what is going on in the world and.... what many be happening within themselves. It is this quality... that ... may be called the Sociological Imagination."
C. Wight Mills. "The Sociological Imagination." New York: Oxford University Press, 1959. pp. 3-5
“Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases;
neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives.
Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices,
to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose.”