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Pitt SOC 0010 - Sociological Imagination

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Sociological Imagination - Troubles and issues- Trouble: personal (you get fired) - Issue: on a society level (unemployment)- Troubles lead to issues and issues lead to troubles - Intersection of history and biography - “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both - Personal Troubles and Social Issues- Privately thought problems- What is thought that is a personal trouble may realistically be a social issue (such as debt affects you and stresses you out but is also a social issue…. Rise in university costs)- We can only understand our lives by understanding the circumstances that brought us to this point - (Matrix video with the pill)- Structure and Action- The individual- Go through life with whatever values our parents taught us etc. but there’s a social aspect of it - Structure=framework of rules- Legal structure- Law has invisible influence over you even if you do not feel direct affect because you do not break the law - All relationships involve roles with rules attached- Every time you’re playing a role you are feeling the affects of social structure - Set of rules about what you’re supposed to do- As a professor you stand in the front of class and teach the student - Action/agency/choices - Make choices about what rules to obey and not - A teacher teaches in front of the class… not obeying would bechoosing the teach that day or taking a nap on the floor in class not legal rule and wont go to jail but may get a bad evaluation or something like that - Sanctions such as getting a dirty look for doing something weird or socially unacceptable or getting laughed at - Enough to keep us in line - Rules that shape our behavior - These structures are larger than any individual and they shape our lives - There are patterns to the relationships we have with one another Social Science- Theory: an abstract statement that explains why and how certain things happen or are as they are- They say some things will happen under certain circumstances and some things won’t (predictions and prohibitions)- Research: involves making appropriate and systematic empirical observations or measurements - Test theories - Explain power of theories- Or gain enough knowledge about some thing to create a theory - Social Structure- Limits the people in the society (fish bowl)- Society is like chess… you can’t just decide to move the pawn however you want- You get to choose where to move a piece but there are regulations and restrictions because rules about how to move a


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