The Sociological Perspective
Please answer one of the following prompts with as much detail as possible. A well-written
essay will demonstrate mastery of concepts presented in the articles, discussed in class and
relevance to both sociological inquiry and your personal life. Note that I am not interested
in judgments but rather exploratory observations about possible meanings of social
behaviors in a given social context. Essays should be no shorter than 3 full-length pages
and typed in no larger than 12 fonts and double-spaced. Ensure that you write in both a
grammatically correct manner and alignment and spacing utilized are in accordance with
standard academic custom. Note that you do not need to utilize outside information;
however, if you do choose to utilize outside sources (including articles under discussion),
please ensure that you cite in accordance to a standard academic format (eg. Mills, 22 or
Berger, 15). You may use MLA or APA style if you like. The paper is due Friday, May 23rd
2014 by 8:00 am in the Turnitin Dropbox on Angel.
. 1) Peter Berger likens sociological discovery to culture shock minus geographical
displacement. He also points out that as a sociologist one must peel away the layers
of the world-taken-for-granted. What does Berger mean by these statements?
Explain in detail the relevance of these statements to sociological inquiry. In
addition, explain how if you decided to subject an aspect of social reality to
sociological inquiry (eg. Barbershop or Nightclubs), how it may appear differently
from previous conceptions of it. That is to say, take an example from your everyday
life that was not discussed in class and explore it sociologically, highlighting features
that were previously taken for granted but now appear more complex and rich with
multiple layers of meaning.
. 2) C. Wright Mills introduces the sociological imagination as both a worldview and the
pre-requisite of sociological inquiry. He states that the sociological imagination
connects history to biography. What does he mean by this? Additionally, explain the
relevance of the intersection of these two spheres to both your life and
understanding society. That is, find an aspect of your life that demonstrates how
forces larger than you have influenced your personal life; and, why it may be relevant
for you to be cognizant of the vortex of social forces that impact not only your
individual life experience but that of others as well.
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