Sociological imagination

1. Describe, in your own words, what is meant by the sociological imagination (also called the ‘sociological eye’). What are the benefits of developing a sociological imagination?

2. Mills had this to say about the family: “Insofar as the family as an institution turns women into slaves and men into their chief providers and unweaned dependents, the problem of a satisfactory marriage remains incapable of purely private solution.” Briefly explain what Mills meant by this statement. Then, discuss the extent to which you think Coontz would agree with Mills’ assertion. Cite specific evidence from Coontz’s article to support your answer.

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3. How would a person who takes an individualistic (or non-sociological) approach try to reduce crimes such as those committed by Hernando Washington? How would a sociologist try to reduce such crimes?

4. Of the three theoretical perspectives described by McIntyre (functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism), which seems the most appealing to you? Why?

5. Select a quote from one of the readings that you find interesting, confusing, or otherwise worthy of further discussion. Explain why you chose this particular quote.

NOTE:

Remember, there will be ten discussion opportunities during the quarter. You must participate in at least FIVE. You decide which five. I will drop your five lowest scores. Each post is worth 20 points. Extra posts do not equal extra credit. Strong posts will demonstrate understanding and connection to course materials and include citations/references (see grading rubric for details).

You also must respond to two peers’ responses to the prompt for the discussions in which you choose to participate. Responses are due by midnight on Wednesday. Responses should be at least 150 words each (put the word count in all responses). Replies should take the conversation further by adding questions or your own ideas in your replies. In addition, you can point out both strengths and areas of improvement on your peers’ submission. Strong posts will demonstrate understanding and connection to course materials. Each reply is worth 5 points, for a total of 10.

You have the opportunity to earn extra credit points by responding to your peers’ replies to your own thread (100 minimum word count, worth up to 2 points each).  These are due on the same day as your other replies to peers. In order to ‘entice’ others to respond to you, and thus be able to take advantage of this extra credit opportunity, you will have to craft a strong original post that is engaging enough to others that they are interested in replying to it. Posting early in the discussion also helps 😉

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