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Chapter 1: book
Chapter 1: What is Sociology?
Undergraduate 2

Additional Sociology Flashcards




Sociological Imagination
  • A term coined by C. Wright Mills in 1959.
  • The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions.
  • Someone using the sociological imagionation "thinks himself away" from the familiar routines of daily life
Social Structure
The underlying regularities or patterns in how people behave and in their relationships with one another

Developing a Sociological Perspective:

Four Questions

  • How are the things that we take to be natural socially constructed?
  • How is social order possible?
  • Does the individual matter? (how determined is social life?)
  • How are the times in which we are living different from the times that came before?
How are the thing that we take to be natural socially constructed?
 Example: dressing a baby in blue or pink to show the sex because that is the social norm. We assume that the roles of "boy" and "girl" are biological, when really most of the cues of feminimity and masculinity are learned by interaction. A boy is not supposed to play with dolls because it isn't "natural." One purpose of soiology is to disentangle what is biological from what is socially constructed. 
How is social order possible?

Example: Why do students sit quietly in class, pretending to take notes, instead of talking to their friends?

  • Self interest: maybe the student wants to impress the prof and get a letter of reccomendation
  • Existence of norms: norms that are learned through socialization
  • Beliefs and values: perhaps the student values the things they will learn if they are quiet, or they belive that the professor deserves respect
The social processes through which children develop an awareness of social norms and values and achieve a distinct sense of self. Although socialization processes are particularly significant in infancy and childhood, they continue to some degree throughout life. No individuals are immune from the reactions of others around them, which influence and modify their behavior ar all phases of the life course
Does the individual matter? (How determined is social life?)
This concept is related to the argument of free will vs determinism. Will a poor kid be able to go to college and become a lawyer against the odds, or should she just graduate high school and get a job, since that is a more likely fate for her? Is her future determined already or can she make her own choices to affect her life?
How are the times in which we're living different from the times that came before?


  • With emails and texts, the average working person writes more than ever, and in turn regret more things that they say. This also allows us to be more cowardly, not having to deliver bad news in person
  • Insustrialism
  • Globalization


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