Sociology Midterm

Topics: Sociology, C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: November 15, 2013
1. Define the sociological perspective or imagination, cite its components, and explain how they were defended by C. Wright Mills. The sociological imagination is defined as being a way of thinking that helps us use information or data to form theories about the social patterns around us. We collect information and from that information we may make judgments or prediction. However we cannot view society in one’s own point of view. Everyone is different so it is important to not only form our own theories but also to take into consideration other theories. It is not possible to understand why people act the way they do if we are not open to hearing their reasoning and thoughts. Our own thoughts are only one version of a sea of other versions, an important component of sociology. C. Wright Mills said that by using the “sociological imagination” we have a better ability to see patterns in society and identify how these patterns influence individuals and groups of individuals. We have all heard the saying “never judge a book by its cover” or “never criticize another until you have walked a mile in their shoes” that is the sociological imagination. Hearing other stories or theories to help create and change our own. Mills book “The Sociological Imagination” written in 1959 focused on the relationship between “individuals” and “society”. He explains the difference between personal issues and public issues. For example unemployment, if a man is laid off he takes it as a personal failure if a group of other individuals are also being laid off it becomes a public issue. We can use the social imagination to see patterns in these trends. The same is said for divorce. By understanding others we create theories and can predict outcomes. 2. What is meant by the terms "ascribed status" and "achieved status" provide an example to illustrate how a person's ascribed status could influence his or her achieved status. “Ascribed status” is defined as being characteristics that you...

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