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Sociological Imagination Essay

1005 words - 5 pages

David Portillo
Mrs. Williams
Sociology 1A
Sociological Imagination
Sociological imagination is the ability to recognize the relationship between large-scale social forces and the actions of individuals. It includes both the capacity to see relationships between individual biographies and historical change, and the capacity to see how social causation operates in societies. The term “sociological imagination” was coined by the American sociologist C. Wright Mills in 1959 to describe the type of insight offered by the discipline of sociology. That being said Sociological Imagination can be applied to a variety of incommensurable social settings, one of them being Television.
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In this sense, TV does not reflect observable demographic realities, although it may well reflect the current distribution of power, and the values of those who hold it.
A great example would me the film “Class Dismissed”. The film navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and I believe daytime talk shows. The film also educates us on how race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class. Therefore showing us how the working class is all made up of hard working fathers. Class Dismissed analyzes Television very well to explain to the viewers how the masculinity is emphasized. Most sitcoms that the film uses portray men as the nagging, tired, and lazy figure but also the only hard worker in the household.
Almost throughout all of the TV shows that are on now we see that the social structure is built around men. When there is a woman somewhere high up on the social structure, there are others higher than her and most likely the role is played by a man. The statuses that I see are all achieved. I try to think somewhere on a show where there are ascribed statuses but I can’t seem to find any. The television has been doing a great job reinforcing the achieved statuses so far. Therefore, encouraging the viewers to reach their long term goal. Though there are some pros for Television, the cons keep on stacking.
Two chapters in the Henslin book really stand out to me. The first is Chapter 4 on “Social Structure”. This chapter talks about three different sociological views, Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist. Functionalists believe in analyzing society as a whole instead of person by person. The functionalists would say that Television is wrong because everything has to be equal and society needs to be portrayed as an equal.
Conflict view, also known as conflict theory, is the basis for Marxist ideology. According to Karl Marx, class...

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