How Does Sociological Thinking Differ from 'Common Sense'?

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In this essay I am going to examine the differences between how sociologists think about and obtain information compared to common sense thinking and what their views are of these different methods. Common sense is something that we use in our every day lives and many of us think that it is better to have common sense than other knowledge, which in some aspects may be true, however we need sociological research in order to explain, essentially, society. This topic interests me greatly as common sense is knowledge that is almost instinct however is it justified? There are many varied views on the current differences between common sense and sociological thinking however Mills (2000, p. 123.) states that the “everyday empiricism of common sense is filled with assumptions and stereotypes of one or another particular society;” this gives the impression that in society, things we accept as common sense are just something that is quite often widely accepted as truth, even though it may just be a stereotype. Common sense draws on people's “common” life experiences rather than scientific research. It is knowledge that we have learned from day to day situations. “...common sense determines what is seen and how it is to be explained.” (Mills, 2000, p.123.) However as we know different groups within society are very different, meaning that their common sense theories differ also. For example, common sense in the UK would be to bring an umbrella out with you if rain was forecast, however in a different country with a different climate it may be, make sure you shake out your shoes before putting them on as there may be a scorpion in them, which was something my mother told me after she had visited Australia. The examples are very different, groups within society are very diverse, due to elements such as religion, geography and culture. Thinking sociologically allows us to
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