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The Sociological Imagination: An Introduction

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An The Sociological Imagination: An Introduction (August 19-25) Sociology is the study of human society, and there is the sociology of sports, of religion, of music, of medicine, even a sociology of sociologists. “Thinking like a sociologist” means applying analytical tools to something you have always done without much conscious thought-?like opening this book or taking this class. It requires you to reconsider your assumptions about society and question what you have taken for granted in order to better understand the world around you.

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In other words, thinking Like a sociologist means making the familiar strange. The Sociological Imagination Sociological Imagination Is the ability to see the connections between our personal experience and the larger forces of history. “The first fruit of this imagination-? and the first lesson of the social science that embodies it-?is the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances.

The sociological Imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That Is Its task and Its promise. To recognize this task and this promise Is the mark of the classic social analyst. ” What is a Social Institution? Social institution a complex group of interdependent positions that, together, perform a social role and reproduce themselves over time; also defied Ned in a narrow sense as any institution in a society that works to shape the behavior of the groups or people within it. The Sociology of Sociology Augusta Comet Harriet Martinets Karl Marx Max Weber Overstress German: understanding.

The concept of Overstress forms the object of inquiry for interpretive sociology-?to study how social actors understand their actions and the social world through experience. Г?mile Druthers Anomie a sense of aimlessness or despair that arises when we can no longer reasonably expect life to be predictable; too little social regulation; enormousness. Positivist sociology a strain within sociology that believes the social world can be described and predicted by certain describable relationships (akin to a social physics). George Simmer American Sociology W. E. B. Dubos Double consciousness a concept conceived by W.

E. B. Dubos to describe the two behavioral scripts, one for moving through the world and the other incorporating the external opinions of prejudiced onlookers, which are constantly maintained by African Americans. The double consciousness is a “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity’ Jane Addams Modern Sociological Theories Functionalism the theory that various social institutions and processes in society exist o serve some important (or necessary) function to keep society running.

Functionalists view social inequality as a “device by which societies ensure that the most important positions are conscientiously FL Lied by the most qualify deed persons” Organisms theory is the notion that society is like a living organism, each part of which serves an important role in keeping society together. The state or government communications were the nervous system; and so on. Conflict theory the idea that conflict cit between competing interests is the basic, animating force of social change and society in general.

Feminist theorists emphasize equality between men and women and want to see women’s lives and experiences represented in sociological studies. Early feminist theory focused on defining concepts such as sex and gender, and on challenging conventional wisdom by questioning the meanings usually assigned to these concepts. In addition to deaf inning sex and gender, much feminist research focuses on inequalities based on gender categories.

Feminist theorists have studied women’s experiences at home and in the workplace. They have also researched gender inequality in social institutions such as schools, the family, and the government. In ACH case, feminist sociologists remain interested in how power relationships are deaf Ned, shaped, and reproduced on the basis of gender differences. Symbolic interactions a micro-level theory in which shared meanings, orientations, and assumptions form the basic motivations behind people’s actions.

Symbolic interactions eschewed big theories of society (microbiology) and instead focused on how face-to-face interactions create the social world (microbiology) Postmodernism a condition characterized by a questioning of the notion of progress and history, the replacement of narrative within pastiche, and multiple, perhaps even info acting, identities resulting from disjointed affiliations.

Social construction an entity that exists because people behave as if it exists and whose existence is perpetuated as people and social institutions act in accordance with the widely agreed-upon formal rules or informal norms of behavior associated with that entity. Midrange theory a theory that attempts to predict how certain social institutions tend to function The key to mid range theory is that it generates falsify able hypotheses-?predictions that can be tested by analyzing the real world. Sociology and Its Cousins History UT rather with commonalities that can be abstracted across cases.

This is called a monotheistic approach (from the Greek root meaning “custom”-?norm or pattern). Anthropology The field of anthropology is split between physical anthropologists, who resemble biologists more than sociologists, and cultural anthropologists, who study human relations similarly to the way sociologists do. Traditionally, the distinction was that sociologists studied “us” (Western society and culture), whereas anthropologists studied “them” (other societies or cultures). What then distinguishes sociology from cultural anthropology?

Nothing, some would argue. However, although certain aspects of sociology are almost indistinguishable from those of cultural anthropology, sociology as a whole has a wider array of methods to answer questions, such as experimentation and statistical data analysis. Sociology also tends more toward comparative case study, whereas anthropology is more like history in its focus on particular circumstances. Sociology focuses on social structures and group interactions, while psychology focuses on the urges, instincts, and mind of the individual.

Microbiology and Microbiology Microbiology seeks to understand local international contexts; its methods of choice re ethnographic, generally including participant observation and in-depth interviews. Microbiology generally concerned with social dynamics at a higher level of analysis -?that is, across the breadth of a society. Quiz Questions Postmodernists argue that there is no single version of history that is correct. Different things have different meanings for individuals and groups within society (p. 31). Feminist research focuses on inequalities based on gender categories.

Karl Mar’s theory that social change has been sparked by class conflict is called historical materialism (p. 20). Lines between academic disciplines are often blurred. However, sociology generally focuses on making comparisons across cases (p. 32) Sociology is distinct from other academic disciplines in its attempt to detect patterns in how different societies respond to similar phenomena. Peoples’ social identity involves how they define themselves in relation to groups they associate with or disassociate themselves from. Social identity can also be thought of as a grand narrative comprised of many individual stories (p. 3). Interpretive sociologists focus on meaning and understand experiences. Their research is premised on the importance of the social situation (p. 38). The focus on what social phenomena means to individuals is interpretive sociology. A social institution is a complex group of interdependent positions that perform a role. It is not monolithic; we construct, reinforce, and change our social institutions every day through the meanings we ascribe to them and through our actions (p. 13). As sociologists think critically about the world around them, they question things they have always done without thinking (p. ). Chapter 2 Methods As social scientists, we have a set of standard approaches that we follow in investigating our questions. We call these rules research methods. They’re the tools fashion. Research methods are approaches that social scientists use for investigating the answers to questions. Quantitative methods are methods that seek to obtain information about the social world that is already in or can be converted to numeric form. This methodology then uses statistical analysis to describe the social world that those data represent.

Some of this analysis attempts to mimic the scientific c method of using treatment and control (or placebo) groups to determine how changes in one factor affect another social outcome, while factoring out every other simultaneous event. Qualitative methods are methods that attempt to collect information about the social world that cannot be readily converted to numeric form. The information gathered with this approach is often used to document the meanings that actions engender in social participants or to describe the Mecca- minims by which social processes occur.

Qualitative data are collected in a host of ways, from spending time with people and recording what they say and do (participant observation) to interviewing them in an open-ended manner to reviewing archives. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches provide ways to establish a causal relationship between social elements. Researchers using quant- adaptive approaches, by eliminating all other possibilities through their study design, hope to state with some certainty that one condition causes another. Qualitative methodology describes social processes in such detail as to rule out competing possibilities.

Research 101 The general goal of sociology is to allow us to see how our individual lives are intimately related to (and, in turn, affect) the social forces that exist beyond us. Deductive approach is a research approach that starts with a theory, forms a hypothesis, makes empirical observations, and then analyzes the data to confirm, reject, or modify the original theory. Inductive approach is a research approach that starts with empirical observations and then works to form a theory. Causality versus Correlation Causality is the notion that a change in one factor results in a corresponding change in another.

To establish causality, three factors are needed: correlation, time order, and ruling out alternative explanations. The Problem of Reverse Causality Reverse causality is a situation in which the researcher believes that A results in a hanged in B, but B, in fact, is causing A. Variables Dependent variable is the outcome that the researcher is trying to explain. Independent variable is a measured factor that the researcher believes has a causal impact on the dependent variable. Because it’s possible to have more than one independent variable, we will call the most important one the key independent variable.

The difference between the independent and the dependent is that change in your dependent variable depends on change in your independent variable. Knowing which variable is which is important for complying with mandates for establishing causality. Hypothesis is a proposed relationship between two variables. The direction of the relationship refers to whether your variables move in the same direction (positive) or in opposite directions (negative). Hypothesis Testing Personalization is the process of assigning a precise method for measuring a term being examined for use in a particular study.

Validity, Reliability, and Generalization Validity is the extent to which an instrument measures what it is intended to measure. Reliability is the likelihood of obtaining consistent results using the same measure. Group larger than the one we studied. Role of the Researcher Placebo is a simulated treatment given to a control group in an experimental study to factor out the effect of merely being in an experiment from the effect of the actual treatment under consideration. Double-blind study is an experimental study where neither the subjects nor the researchers know who is in the treatment group and who is in the control (placebo) group. White coat” effects-?that is, the effects that researchers have on the very processes and relationships they are studying by virtue of being there. Reflexivity is analyzing and critically considering our own role in, and effect on, our research. Power: In the Eyes of the Researcher, We’re Not All Equal Feminist methodology is a set of systems or methods that treat women’s experiences as legitimate empirical and theoretical resources, that promote social science for women (think public sociology, but for a specific half of the public), and that take into account the researcher as much as the overt subject matter.

What do feminist research methods look like? First, it’s important to understand that there is no one feminist research method, Just as there is no single school of feminism. Feminist researchers use the same techniques for gathering data as other sociologists, but they employ those techniques in ways that differ significantly from traditional methods. The feminist part doesn’t lie in the method per SE, or necessarily in having women as subjects. Rather, Harding proposes three ways to make research distinctly feminist. First, treat women’s experiences as legitimate empirical and theoretical resources.

Second, engage in social science that may bring about policy changes to help improve women’s lives. Third, take into account the researcher as much as the overt subject matter. The point of adopting feminist methods isn’t to exclude men or male perspectives: It’s to instead of; it’s in addition to. It means taking all subjects seriously rather than privileging one type of data, experience, or worldview over another. Creating and Testing Theory Because positivists are concerned with the factors that infill ounce social life, they tend to rely more heavily on quantitative measures.

If, however, you’re more concerned with the meanings actors attach to their behavior, as interpretive sociologists are, then you’ll likely be drawn to more qualitative measures. Ultimately, the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods is a false psychotic: The most important thing is to determine what you want to learn and then contemplate the best possible way to collect the empirical data that would answer your question-?that is, deploy whatever tool or set of tools is called for by the present research problem. Population is an entire group of individual persons, objects, or items from which samples may be drawn.

Sample is the subset of the population from which you are actually collecting data. Case study is an intensive investigation of one particular unit of analysis in order to describe it or uncover its mechanisms. Data Collection Social science research is largely about collecting empirical eve- dance to generate or test empirical claims. Participate Observation Participant observation is a qualitative research method that seeks to uncover the meanings people give their behavior by observing social actions in practice. What this usually entails is “hanging out” and documenting people’s practices in a given society.

Some participant observation focuses more heavily on the participating, and some concentrates on the observing, depending on the interests of the researcher and the appropriateness of actually “participating” in the given eating. Interviews Interviews are another form of gathering qualitative data. Other researchers may rely on semi structured or structured interviews-?that is, interviews in which the researchers have more than Just a set of topics to cover in no preset order; rather, the researchers develop a specific c set of questions to address structured, it falls into the next category: survey research.

Survey Research Survey is an ordered series of questions intended to elicit information from respondents. Surveys may be done anonymously and distributed widely, so you reach a much argue sample than if you relied solely on interviews. Surveys can also be done in person or over the phone. This method of survey design differs from interviews in that a set questionnaire exists. Surveys are generally converted into quantitative data for statistical analysis-?everything from simple estimates (How many gay policemen are there in America? To comparisons of averages across groups (What proportion of gay policemen support abortion rights, and what proportion of retired female plumbers do? ) to complex techniques such as multiple regression, where one measured factor (such as education level) is held instant, or statistically removed from the picture, to pin down the effect of another factor (such as total family income) on, say, reported levels of happiness.

Historical Methods Historical methods is the research that collects data from written reports, newspaper articles, Journals, transcripts, television programs, diaries, artwork, and other artifacts that date to a prior time period under study. Comparative Research Sometimes sociologists compare two or more historical societies; we call this “comparative historical” research. Comparative research is a methodology by which two or more entities (such as Mounties), which are similar in many dimensions but differ on one in question, are compared to learn about the dimension that differs between them.

Cite this The Sociological Imagination: An Introduction

The Sociological Imagination: An Introduction. (2018, Feb 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-sociological-imagination-an-introduction/

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