Term coined by American Sociologist,C Wright Mills (1916-1962).
“Imagination is often successfully invited by putting together hitherto isolated items, by finding unsuspecting connections” (C Wright Mills, 1959, p. 201). (google images, 2011).
Thus listening to understand others differing views, while reflecting back at ourselves to consider where our own knowledge comes from is sociological mindfulness. Also termed subjective and/or situated knowledge.
Place yourself in the center of the map “I AM” and brainstorm all the forces, internal and external that act on and shape your identity to create a mosaic, a map of your social location. QUESTIONS: Which of these aspects of your identity, roles, experiences or relationships are most essential to your sense of self? Why are certain aspects more influential than others? What elements do you think may increase and/or decrease in importance over time? Do any of these items conflict with each other?
Images I want to leave you with as we begin our journey of social analysis of the everyday world around us. Questions and/or concerns feel free to contact me at …………………….
What is Sociology?• the science of society, social institutions, and of the fundamental laws of social relationships; specifically: the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, functioning and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. “Only a few are concerned with the theoretical interpretation of the world, but everybody lives in a world of some sort” (Berger and Luckmann, 1967, p. 15).
“Socialization” is the Transmitter of Cultureo From beginning (birth) to end (death), human beings go through a process of having their core personal identity, sense of self and understanding of the world shaped.o This is the process of socialization.o It is the process of disseminating directly and indirectly norms, cultural customs and ideologies.
Socializationo Socialization influences and shapes how we come to understand our society and the world around us primarily because it teaches us how to think, perceive, understand and be what our culture tell us we are.o Infants are born without culture. ALL human beings must be taught how to do, live and recreate culture; this is transferred through the process of socialization. For example: we learn how to do gender, how to do race, how to do religion, etc.
SocializationThe social world is made of patterns of activity that co-create and re-create the social world; this is the socialconstruction of reality (Schwalbe, 2001).Ex: “this is what everyone does” “this is just how things are done”This is the taken-for-granted nature of culture.
Human beings are BOTH social products and social forces.“Your ideas about who and what you arecome from the social world in which you were raised” (Schwalbe, 2001, p. 8).
Types of Socialization Primary SecondaryChildhood cultural Throughout life as oneinduction into family and encounters new groupssociety by immediate outside of core family unitcaregivers; both direct and one is taught appropriateindirect. behaviors for acceptance into specific smaller groups, i.e. new job, clubs.
Socialization expanded What are some of the socializing institutions?• Family• Religious Organizations• Media• Schools “The reality of everyday life is shared with others” (Berger and Luckmann, 1967).
(5) Characteristics to the Process of Socialization:• Pervasive• Consistent• Self-perpetuating• Invisible• Reflexive (Circular)
Sociological ImaginationA mindset or lens for “doing” sociology, stressingmicro and macro connections between individualexperiences (micro) and societal relationships(macro).“The sociological imagination, I remind you, inconsiderable part consists of the capacity to shiftfrom one perspective to another, and in the processto build up an adequate view of a total society andits components” (C Wright Mills, 1959, p. 211).
Sociological Imagination“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of asociety can be understood without understandingboth” (C Wright Mills, 1959, p. 6).“The sociological imagination enables us to grasphistory and biography and the relations betweenthe two within society. That is its task and itspromise. To recognize this task and this promise isthe mark of the classic social analyst” (1959, p. 6).
Sociological Imagination (3) Components:1. History –how did society come to be?2. Biography –what is the story of the people of this society?3. Social Structure –how does the taken-for- granted institutional order operate and fit together?
Sociological Imagination Premiseo To connect individual experiences with societal experiences through our shared co-created history, biography and social structure is taking on the lens of sociological imagination.o This according to C Wright Mills is “doing” sociology. Micro Micro Macro
Sociological Imagination Core Questions:1. What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?2. Where does this society stand in human history?3. What varieties of women and men now prevail in this society and in this period?
Social Location“Knowledge must always be knowledge from acertain position” (Berger and Luckmann, 1967).“If we are mindful, we will realize that ourknowledge is always limited, that others knowwhat the world looks like from where theystand, and that we cannot claim to have amonopoly on the truth” (Schwalbe, 2001).
Social LocationSocial location is where we are socially locatedin society and the lens we use to define, explainand understand the world we live in.To be “objective” is to acknowledge this positionand to attempt to transcend it systematically.
Class Exercise: Social Location Map Consider all of the aspects that inform who you are:• Race • Attitudes• Family • Interests• Gender • Passions• Religion • Responsibilities• Ethnicity • Beliefs• Education • Concerns• Social class • Roles
Sociology: A Visual Syllabus Culture; Socialization; Groups & Organizations; Media; Deviance &Control; Inequality; Social Institutions.
Sociological ToolkitKey Terms: Resources:• Sociology• Socialization Online Sociology Dictionary• Reification• Sociological Imagination The Social Construction of• Social Location RealityKey People: The Sociologically Examine• C Wright Mills Life• Berger and Luckmann The Sociological Imagination