Sociology examines how our behavior individually and in groups is influenced by social processes and what that means. In fact once you start seeing things with a sociological perspective – things will never be the same. It’s knowing how and why we do what we do that engages us with the world around us and makes us more effective agents for social change. However, sociologist C. Wright Mills describes sociology as “the intersection of biography and history?” A lot of you may wonder what he mean: well from my studying and perspectives; The reason why he say sociology is the interception of biography and history is because, Biography: happens to individuals and History: happens to society. For example, every
Functionalism is a macro theory, which looks at society as a whole rather than focuses on each individual. It is a theory that concentrates on the harmony between social institutions in society that is based on a consensus view rather than a conflict view as a Marxism theory. As a comparison to society as a whole, Functionalists use an organic analogy as an example. Each organ of the human body has a different job to do and if one part became ill or diseased, the rest could be contaminated or will produce changes in other parts. Similarly the operation of any society is dependent on its social institutions as they provide vital functions which maintain harmony, stability and solidarity within a society.
To illustrate this idea, Feinburg (2010) states, 'History is the record of past experience. Theory is the generalization of that experience. Its that simple"(579). Salamon on the other hand argues that Feinburg's view is too simple in the sense that sie views social construction as simple and lived gender as complex. Salamon suggests that Feinberg's view of social construction is an adjective that wants to modify both social and construction.
As societal patterns change and influence everyone and everything around them, they may not affect many as badly as they affect others. We therefore need the ability to see things through other people’s perspectives, to understand their point of view and how society affects it. This is done by using ones “Sociological Imagination” otherwise known as your sociological perspective. It enables us to see life through the eyes of others and understand where they are coming from. C. Wright Mills wrote that the task of sociology is to understand the relationship between an individual and the society they live in.
To what extent does G.H Mead’s ‘Philosophy of the Present’ offer an account of how social actions unfold in time and space? By Rachel Pemberton Transforming the Self and Society – AM25124-2 To what extent does G.H. Mead’s ‘Philosophy of the Present’ offer an account of how social actions unfold in time and space? “The Philosophy of the Present is a deliberately ambiguous title. On the one hand, it indicates that Mead is concerned with the historical locus of philosophy and its tasks in his time.
In this article, the writer (Peter L. Berger) attempts to explain the purpose and methods of studying sociology. It can be derived from the article that sociology breaks down the façade of appearances and assumptions to reveal differences and deviances that can be cultural, political, religious, moral, and so on. Berger compares the experience of studying sociology with “culture shock” by explaining that one expects, when entering a new culture, to experience the shock of lifestyles, traditions, and activities that are new, opposite, or variations of what an individual is accustomed to. The article explains that this same experience can also be had when studying, in depth, the reality underneath the façade of individual units within society
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.)
It was a term coined by one of the founding fathers of classical sociology Comte and it involves: “Knowledge that is disciplined, empirical and scientific free from religious or political bias.” On the other hand as society and the early science of sociology evolved a different approach was seen by many to be the way forward. This anti-positivist thinking or interpretist approach believes that society cannot be studied as a science; this methodological anti-positivism proposed the theory of the human in society as an individual and thus research be directed to human cultural norms, values and symbols. The interpretist will take a more subjective approach were as the positivist tries to look at society objectively. Let us now look to compare and contrast positivism with an interpretist approach. Positivists are of the opinion that society can be studied using a scientific approach comparable to the way scientists study the natural world.
The term Sociological Imagination was originated by the prominent sociologist C. Wright Mills. Through his book we understand that the phrase 'Sociological Imagination' can be defined as the ability to understand how our personal thoughts, desires and actions are ultimately connected to our society. Through further readings we understand that our personal biographies are developed in emerging societies that are eventually going to be a part of history, and to some degree, that said history will become the foundation for future societies to come. With the use of Sociological Imagination we would qualify to take into consideration past historical events and their influence on our lives today which will ultimately allow for a better understand of the structure of our individual lives as well as society as a whole. Mills interpreted the Sociological Imagination as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society” (Mills, 1959).
Although the scientific method can be assessed in sociological research, the interpretivistic approach in sociology contradicts their beliefs. Interpretivism does not completely abandon scientific thought, but it does not encourage it. They think that the social world is very different from the natural world, thus they cannot be studies the same way. The interpretivism approach derived from the works of Max Weber. They believe that people attach meaning to what they do and it is up the sociologist to attempt to interpret the meaning.